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Emory Women Writers Resource Project

The Atomic Poems of Margaret (Lucas) Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, from her Poems, and Fancies, 1653, an electronic edition. Edited with an introduction by Leigh Tillman Partington

by Margaret Cavendish [Newcastle, Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of, 1624?-1674]

date: 1653
source publisher:
collection: Early Modern through the 18th Century

Table of Contents

<< Poem
Cavendish, Margaret (Lucas).

A World made by foure Atomes.


S Harpe Atomes Fire subtle, quicke, and dry,
The Long, like Shafts still into Aire fly.
The Round to Water moist, (a hollow Forme,)
The Figure square to heavy dull Earth turne.
The Atomes sharpe hard Mineralls do make, [5]
The Atomes round soft Vegetables take.
In Animals none singly lye alone,
But the foure Atomes meet, and joyne as one.
And thus four Atomes the Substance is of all;
With their foure Figures make a worldly Ball. [10]
Thus the Fancy of my Atomes is, that the foure PrincipallFigures,
as Sharpe, Long, Round, Square, make the foure Elements;not that
they are of severall matters, but are all of
12 one matter,onely their se-
verall Figures do give them severall Proprieties; so likewisedo the
mixt Figures give them mixt Proprieties, & their several composures
do give them other Proprieties, according to their Formesthey put
themselves into, by their severall Motions. This I do repeate,that
the ground of my Opinion may be understood.


12. The severall Elements are all but one matter.

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