What Atoms Make Change


’Tis several figured atoms that make change,
When several bodies meet as they do range.
For if they sympathize and do agree,
They join together, as1 one body be.
But if they meet,2 like to a rabble rout,               5
Without all order running in and out,
Then disproportionable things they make,
Because they did not their right places take.

All Things Last or Dissolve According to the Composure of Atoms.


Atoms which loosely join1 do not remain
So long as those which closeness do maintain.
Those make all things i’th’world to ebb2 and flow,
According as the moving atoms go.
Others in bodies, they do join so close,                  5
As in long time, they never stir nor loose.
And some will join so close and knit so fast,
As if unstirred they would forever last.
In smallest vegetables, loosest atoms3 lie,
Which is the reason they so quickly die.               10
In animals, much closer they are laid,
Which is the cause their life is longer4 stayed.
Some vegetables and animals do join
In equal strength, if atoms so combine.
But animals, where atoms close lie5 in,                15
Are stronger than some vegetables thin.
But in vegetables, where atoms do stick6 fast,
As in7 strong trees, the longer they do last.8
In minerals, they so together cleave,9
As they not any space for motion leave.10            20
Being pointed all, the closer they do lie,
Which makes11 them not like vegetables die.
Those bodies where12 loose atoms most move in,
Are soft and porous, and many times thin;
Those porous13 bodies never do live long.            25
Why so?14 Loose atoms never can be strong.
For motion’s power tosseth15 them about,
Keeps them16 from their right places:17 so life goes out.

Of Quenching out of Fire


The2 atoms round,3 ’tis not their numbers4 great
That put out fire,5 quenching both light and heat.
But being wet, they loosen and unbind
Those sharp dry atoms, which together joined.
For when they are dispersed, their power is6 small,        5
Nor give they light nor heat if single all.
Besides, those7 atoms sharp will smothered be,
Having no vent, nor yet vacuity.
For if that fire8 in a place lies9 close,
Having no vent, but stopped, straight out it10 goes.         10
There is no better argument to prove
A vacuum, than to see how fire doth move:11
For if fire should not have the12 liberty
To run about, how quickly would it die?

The Reason Water Quenches Fire

The reason fire by water is quenched1 out
Is that round atoms do2 put to a rout
The sharp,3 for when a house on fire is set,4
Then atoms sharp are5 in great armies met,6
Where they themselves range into7 ranks and files,          5
And strive always to havoc and make spoils,
Running about as nimble as may be8
From side to side, as in great fires9 we see.
But atoms round do like a rescue come,1011
And separate the sharp, which in heaps run.12                  10
For being separate, they have no force,
Like to a troop or regiment of horse,
Which when great cannon bullets are shot through,
They disunite, and quite their strength undo.
So water that is thrown on flaming fire                               15
Doth separate and make that strength expire.