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 Fire and Flame

 

Although we at a distance stand, if great
A fire be, the body through1 will heat.
Yet those sharp atomes we do not perceive,
How they fly out, nor how to us they cleave.2
Nor do they3 flame, nor shine they clear and bright       5
When they fly out and on our bodies strike.4
The reason is they loose and scattered fly,
And not in troops, nor do they on heaps lie.
Like small dust rais’d, which,5 scatter’d all about,
We see it not, nor doth it light keep6 out.                         10
But gathered up thick7 to a mountain high,
We then see they in solid earth do8 lie.
Just so do atoms sharp look, clear and bright,
When in heaps lie,9 or in a streaming flight.

Of Fire in the Flint

The reason fire lies1 in flint unseen
Is other figured atoms lie2 between.
For being bound and overpowered by
A multitude, they do in prison lie.
Unless motion do come and let3 them out                           5
With a strong power, which make them4 fly about.
But if that flint be beat to powder small,
To separate the grossest,5 released are all.
And6 when they once are out, they ne’er come back,7
But seek about another form to make.8                               10

Of the Four Principle Sorts of Atoms

1

Atoms by sympathy2 are fixèd so,
As past some principles they do not go.
For count the3 principles of all their works,4
You’ll find there are not many several sorts.5
For when they do dissolve and new forms6 make,      5
They still to their first principles do take.
All creatures, howsoe’er they may be named,7
Are of long, square, flat, or sharp atoms framed.8

Of the Sympathy of These Four Principle Figured Atoms

1

Such sympathy there is in every figure,23
That every several sort do flock together,4
As air, water, earth, and5 fire,
Which make each element to be entire.
Not but loose atoms like sheep stray6 about,          5
And into7several places go in8 and out,
And some as sheep and kine do mix9 together,
Which10 when they mix, ’tis several change of weather.
But Motion as their shepherd drives them so,
As not to let them out of order go.                             10