« הקודםהמשך »
That can deliberate, means elect, and find
Now who can this surprising fact conceive, Who this event fortuitous believe, That the brute earth, unguided, should embrace ) The only useful, only proper place, Of all the millions in the empty space?
Could stupid atoms, with impetuous speed, By different roads and adverse ways proceed; From regions opposite begin their flight, That here they might rencounter, here unite ? What charms could these terrestrial vagrants see In this one point of all immensity, That all the enamour'd troops should thither flow? Did they its useful situation know?
And, when the squadrons with a swift career
The Atomists, whose skill mechanic teach,
Still shake off all things on their surface plac’d, And to a distance from the centre cast.
If ponderous atoms are so much in love With this one point, that all will thither move, Give them the situation they desire : But let us then, ye sages, next inquire What cause of their cohesion can you find; What props support, what chains the fabric bind? Why do not beasts that move, or stones that lie Loose on the field, through distant regions fly? Or why do fragments, from a mountain rent, Tend to the earth with such a swift descent?
Those who ascribe this one determin'd course Of ponderous things to gravitating force, Refer us to a quality occult, To senseless words, for which while they insult With just contempt the famous Stagyrite, (light. The schools should bless the world with clearer Some, the round earth's cohesion to secure, For that hard task employ magnetic power. Remark, say they, the globe; with wonder own Its nature, like the fam'd attractive stone. This has its axis, so the observer tells, Meridians, poles, equator, parallels. To the terrestrial poles by constant fate The obsequious poles themselves accommodate; And, when of this position dispossess'd, They move, and strive, nor ever will they rest, Till their lov'd situation they regain, Where pleas'd they settle, and unmov'd remain.. And should you (so experience does decide) Into small parts the wondrous stone divide, Ten thousand of minutest size express The same propension which the large possess..
Hence all the globe ('tis said) we may conclude
The mighty magnet from the centre darts
[parts; Irradiate all the wide circumference. While every part is in proportion bless'd, And of its due attractive power possess'd; While adverse ways the adverse atoms draw With the same strength, by nature's constant law Balanc'd and fix'd; they can no longer move; Through gulfs immense no more unguided rove. If cords are pull'd two adverse ways, we find The more we draw them, they the faster bind. So when with equal vigour nature strains This way and that these fine mechanic chains, They fix the earth, they part to part unite, Preserve their structure, and prevent their flight, Pressure (they say) and weight, we must disown, As things occult, by no ideas known; And on the earth's magnetic power depend To fix its seat, its union to defend.
Let us this fam'd hypothesis survey, And with attentive thought remark the way, How earth's attractive parts their force display. ) The mass ('tis said) from its wide bosom pours Torrents of atoms, and eternal showers Of fine magnetic darts, of matter made So subtle, marble they with ease pervade :
Refin'd, and, next to incorporeal, thin;
What can insult unequal reason more,
For, should our globe have had a greater share Of this strong force, by which the parts cohere, Things had been bound by such a powerful chain, That all would fix'd and motionless remain;