Of Many Worlds in This World
Just like as in a nest of boxes round,
Degrees of sizes in each box are found:
So, in this world, may many others be
Thinner and less, and less still by degree:
Although they are not subject to our sense,
A world may be no bigger than two-pence.
Nature is curious, and such works may shape,
Which our dull senses easily escape:
For creatures, small as atoms, may there be,
If every one a creature’s figure bear.
If atoms four, a world can make, then see
What several worlds might in an ear-ring be:
For, millions of those atoms may be in
The head of one small, little, single pin.
And if thus small, then ladies may well wear
A world of worlds, as pendents in each ear.
Another poem from the inimitable Margaret Cavendish (1623-1673), Duchess of Newcastle, poet, science fiction author and the first woman invited to attend the Royal Society. I posted about her last year, too.
“I would rather die in the adventure of noble achievements than live in obscure and sluggish security.”
I haven’t read any of Margaret Cavendish’s poetry, Janis, so thanks for posting this – writing about atoms must be rather rare, I think! Enlightening stuff.
Thanks for this: Language and Science in the 17th Century was fantastic – almost fantastical stuff – and they had such amazing passion in their efforts to understand the universe. It’s such a lift to read.