The same motion which from the mouth doth move
Runs through the air, which we by echo prove.
As several letters in one word do join,
So several figures through the air combine.
The air is wax, words seal, and give the print, 5
And so an echo in the air do mint.
And while those figures last, they life maintain;
When motion wears them out, echo is slain.
As sugar in the mouth doth melt with taste,
So echo in the air itself doth waste. 10
Rebounds resisting substance must work on,
Both in itself, and what it beats upon,
For yielding bodies which do bow or break
Can ne’er rebound, nor like an echo speak.
Then every word of aïr forms a ball, 5
And every letter like a ball doth fall.
Words are condensèd air, which heard, do grow
As water which by cold doth turn to snow.
And as when snow is pressed hard balls become,
So words being pressed as balls do backward run. 10
A sound seems nothing, yet a while it lives,
And like a wanton lad, mock answers gives,
Not like the souls that from the bodies go,
For echo hath a body of air, we know.
But strange it is that sounds so strong and clear 5
Resisting bodies have, yet not appear,
But air, which subtle is, encounter may:
Thus words as sounds may with self-echo play.
But they grow weary soon, hold not out long,
Seem out of breath, and falter with the tongue. 10
A shadow fell in love with the bright light,
Which makes her walk perpetually in his sight.
And when he’s absent, then, poor soul, she dies,
But when he shows himself, her life revives.
She sister is to Echo loud and clear, 5
Whose voice is heard, but no body appear.
She hates to see or show herself to men,
Unless Narcissus could live once again.
But these two souls (for they no bodies have)
Do wander in the air to seek a grave. 10
Silence would bury one, the other night;
Both are denied by Repercussion’s spite.
And each of these are subject to the sense:
One strikes the ear, shadow the eye presents.