1647
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Immortality of the Soul. [Book III Canto 3.]

Philosophical Poems comprising Psychozoia and Minor Poems.

Rev. Henry More




BOOK III. CANTO 3.
That th' earth doth move, proofs Physicall
Unto us do descrie;
Adds reasons Theosophicall,
Als adde Astronomie.

Blest souls first Authors of Astronomie!
Who clomb the heavens with your high reaching mind,
Scal'd the high battlements of the lofty skie,
To whom compar'd this earth a point you find;
Your bodies lesse, what measure hath defin'd?
What art that mighty vastnesse? Such high facts
The ancient Giants sworn with raging wind
Could not effect. A subtile Parallax,
A dark Eclipse do quite obscure their braving acts.

O the great might of mans high Phantasie
Which with a shade or a divided line,
That nought, this but a thin exilitie,
Can do farre more then strength enrag'd with tine,
Hoysted with haughty pride. That brood combine
To clamber up to heaven. Hill upon hill,
Ossa upon Olympus doth recline:
Their brawnie arms redoubled force doth fill,
While they their spirits summon t' effect their furious will.

But all in vain, they want the inward skill.
What comes from heaven onely can there ascend,
Not rage nor tempest that this bulk doth fill
Can profit ought, but gently to attend
The souls still working, patiently to bend
Our mind to sifting reason, and clear light,
That strangely figur'd in our soul doth wend
Shifting its forms, still playing in our sight,
Till something it present that we shall take for right.

The busie soul it is that hither hent
By strength of reason, the true distancies
Of th' erring Planets, and the vast extent
Of their round bodies without outward eyes
Hath view'd, told their proportionalities,
Confounded sense by reasons strange report
(But wiser he that on reason relies
Then stupid sense low-sunken into dirt)
This weapon I have got none from me may extort.

O You stiff-standers for ag'd Ptolemee,
I heartily praise your humble reverence
If willingly given to Antiquitie;
But when of him in whom's your confidence,
Or your own reason and experience
In those same arts, you find those things are true
That utterly oppugne our outward sense,
Then are you forc'd to sense to bid adieu,
Not what your sense gainsayes to holden straight untrue.

Though contraire unto sense, though it be new
(But sooth to sayen th' earths motion is of tri'd
Antiquitie, as I above did shew:
In Philolaus and in Heraclide
Those subtile thoughts of old did close reside)
Yet reason ought to bear away the bell.
But irefull ignorance cannot abide
To be outtopd, reprochfully she'll yell,
Call's mad, when her own self doth with foul furie swell.

But let them bark like band-dogs at the Moon,
That mindlesse passeth on in silencie:
I'll take my flight above this outward sunne,
Regardlesse of such fond malignitie,
Lift my self up in the Theologie
Of heavenly Plato. There I'll contemplate
The Archtype of this sunne, that bright Idee
Of steddie Good, that doth his beams dilate
Through all the worlds, all lives and beings propagate.

But yet in words to trifle I will deigne
A while: They may our mind fitly prepare
For higher flight; we larger breath may gain
By a low hovering. These words they are
All found in that old Oracle of Clare.
That heavenly power which Jao hight
The highest of all the Gods thou mayst declare,
In spring named Zeus, in summer Helios bright,
I autumn call'd Jao, Aides in brumall night,

These names do plainly denotate the sunne,
In Spring call'd Zeus, from life or kindly heat;
In winter, 'cause the day's so quickly done,
He Aides hight, he is not long in sight;
In Summer, 'cause he strongly doth us smite
With his hot darts, then Helios we him name
From Eloim or Eloah so hight;
In Autumn Jao, Jehovah is the same:
So is the word deprav'd by an uncertain fame.

So great similitude twixt Phoebus light
And God, that God himself the Nations deem
The sunne. The learned Seventy 've boldly pight
A tent therein for the true Eloim;
The sensible Deity you'll reckon him,
If Hermes words bear with you any sway;
Or if you Christian Clerks do ought esteem,
In Davids odes they make Gods Christ a day;
His father's then the sunne from whence this light doth ray.

Then by all the wide worlds acknowledgement,
The sunne's a type of that eternall light
Which we call God, a fair delineament
Of that which Good in Plato's school is hight
His T' agathon with beauteous rayes bedight.
Let's now consult with their Theologie,
And that Idea with our inward sight
Behold, casheering sensibility
Then in clear reason view this correspondency.

One steady Good, centre of essencies,
Unmoved Monad, that Apollo hight,
The Intellectuall sunne whose energies
Are all things that appear in vitall light,
Whose brightnesse passeth every creatures sight,
Yet round about him stird with gentle fire
All things do dance; their being, action, might,
They thither do direct with strong desire,
To embosome him with close embracements they aspire.

Unseen, incomprehensible He moves
About himself each seeking entity
That never yet shall find that which it loves.
No finite thing shall reach infinity,
No thing dispers'd comprehend that Unity,
Yet in their ranks they seemly foot it round,
Trip it with joy at the worlds harmony
Struck with the pleasure of an amorous stound,
So dance they with fair flowers from unknown root ycrownd.

Still falling short they never fail to seek,
Nor find they nothing by their diligence;
They find repast, their lively longings eek
Rekindled still, by timely influence.
Thus all things in distinct circumference
Move about Him that satisfies them all.
Nor be they thus stird up by wary sense
Or foresight, or election rationall,
But blindly reel about the heart of Lives centrall.

So doth the Earth one of the erring Seven
Wheel round the fixed sunne, that is the shade
Of steady Good, shining in this Out-heaven
With the rest of those starres that God hath made
Of baser matter, all which be array'd
With his far-shining light. They sing for joy,
They frisque about in circulings unstay'd,
Dance through the liquid air, and nimbly toy
While Sol keeps clear their spate, consumes what may accloy.

Better the indigent be mov'd, then he
That wanteth nought: He fills all things with light
And kindly heat through his fecundity
Peoples the world; by his exciting sprite
Wakens the plants, calls them out of deep night.
They thrust themselves into his fostring rayes,
Stretch themselves forth, stird by his quickning might.
And all the while their merry roundelayes
(As lightsome phansies deem) each Planet spritely playes.

But sooth to say that sound so subtile is
Made by percussion of th' ethereall fire
Against our air (if it be not transmisse
By its exility,) that none ought admire
That we no'te hear what well we mought desire
Heavens harmony. 'Cording to others lear
The sound's so big that it cannot retire
Into the windings of a mortall ear;
No more than Egypt can Niles Catadupa bear.

There ought to be certain proportion
Betwixt the object and the outward sense.
Rash man that doth inferre negation
From thy dead ear, or non-experience.
Then let them dance and sing, raise influence
From lively motion, that preserves their sprite
From foul corruption: motion's the best sense
To keep off filth in children of cold Night,
Whose life is in dull matter; but the sunne's all Light.

Therefore full safely he may steady stond,
Unmov'd, at least not remov'd out of place:
I'll not deny but that he may turn round
On his own centre. So the steps we'll trace
Of Essence, Plato's On, which steady stayes
And moves at once, that same Iao hight
In that old Clarian Oracle, that sayes
It is the sunne. This answer will aright
To Jove or Plato's On as done those schools descry't.

That same first Being, Beauty, Intellect,
Turns to his father (of whom he was born)
In a brief instant. But who can detect
Such hidden mysteries? back mine eyes I'll turn,
Lest in this light like fluttering moth I burn.
Enough is shown of correspondency
Twixt this worlds sunne and centre of hid Morn,
The radiant light of the deep Deity.
Thus have I fairly prov'd the sunnes stability.

Then must the earth turn round, or we want day,
Or never be in night. Now I'll descend
Cloth'd with this truth. As wrathfull dogs do bay
At spectres solemn Cynthia doth send;
So now I backward to the senses wend:
They'll bark at th' shape of my disguised mind,
As stranger wights, they wrathfully will rend
This uncouth habit. They no such thing find
'Mongst their domestick forms, to whom they are more kind.

And weaker reason which they wont misguide
Will deem all this nothing mysterious,
But my strong-winged Muse feeble to slide
Into false thoughts and dreams vertiginous,
And plainly judge us woxen furious,
Thus in our rage to shake the stable earth,
Whirling her round with turns prodigious;
For she doth stedfast stand as it appear'th
From the unshaken buildings she so safely bear'th.

If she should move about, then would she sling
From of her self those fair extructed loads
Of carved stone: The air aloud would sing
With brushing trees: Beasts in their dark aboads
Would brained be by their own caves; th' earth strowd
With strange destruction. All would shatter'd lie
In broken shivers, What mad frantick mood
Doth thus invade wary Philosophy,
That it so dotes on such a furious falsltie?

But still more subt'ly this cause to pursue.
The clouds would alwayes seem to rise from th' East,
Which sense and oft-experience proves untrue;
They rise from all the quarters, South, North, West.
From every part, as Aeolus thinketh best.
Again the Earths sad stupid gravity
Unfit for motion, shows her quiet rest:
Lastly an arrow shot unto the sky
Would not return unto his foot that let it fly.

Adde unto these that contrariety
Of motion, whenas the self same things
At the same time do back and forward hie:
As when for speed the rider fiercely dings
His horse with iron heel, layes the loose strings
Upon his neck, westward they swiftly scoure,
Whenas the Earth, finishing her dayly rings,
Doth Eastward make with all her might and power,
She quite hath run her stage at end of twice twelve houres.

These and like phansies do so strongly tye
The slower mind to aged Ptolemee,
That shamefull madnesse 't were for to deny
So plain a truth as they deem this to be.
But yet, alas! if they could stander free
From prejudice, and heavie swaying sense
That dims our reason that it cannot see
What's the pure truth, enough in just defense
Of Pythagore we find though with small diligence.

One single truth concerning unity
Of sprights and bodies, and how one Form may
Inact a various Corporeity,
Keep't up together, and her might display
Through all the parts, make't constantly obey
The powerfull dictates of its centrall spright,
Which being one can variously play:
This lore if we but once had learnd aright,
All what was brought afore would vanish at first sight.

For that Magnetick might doth so combine
Earth, Water, Air, into one animate,
Whose soul or life so sweetly 't doth incline,
So surely, easly, as none can relate
But he that's exercis'd in every state
Of moving life. What? Can the plastick spright
So variously his branching stock dilate
Downward to hell, upward to heaven bright,
And strangely figur'd leaves and flowers send into sight?

Can one poore single Centre do all this
In a base weed that suddenly decayes?
And shall not the earths life that is transmisse
Through sea and air, and with its potent rayes
Informs all this (all this on that life stayes)
Shall't not obtain the like variety
Of inward ruling motion? Your minds raise,
O sluggish men! single centrality
You'l find shall do, whatere's admit by phantasie.

Now see if this clear apprehension
Will not with ease repell each argument
Which we rehears'd with an intention
For to refute. The earths swift movement,
Because 'tis naturall not violent,
Will never shatter buildings. With straight line
It binds down strongly each partic'larment
Of every edifice. All stones incline
Unto that Centre; this doth stoutly all combine.

Nor is lesse naturall than circular motion,
Then this which each part to the centre drives:
So every stone on earth with one commotion
Goes round, and yet withall right stifly strives
To reach the centre, though it never dives
So deep. Who then so blind but plainly sees
How for our safety Nature well contrives,
Binding all close with down-propensities?
But now we'll answer make to the loud-singing trees.

Walls, towers, trees, would stir up a strange noise,
If th' air stood still, while the earth is hurled round
As doth the switch oft shak'd by idle boyes
That please themselves in varying of the sound.
But this objection we with reason sound
Have well prevented, while we plainly taught
Earth, Water, Air, in one to be fast bound
By one spermatick spright, which easly raught
To each part: Earth, Sea, Air so powerfully hath it caught.

All these as one round entire body move
Upon their common Poles; that difficulty
Of stirring sounds, so clearly we remove.
That of the clouds with like facility
We straight shall chace away. In th' air they ly
And whirl about with it, and when some wind
With violence afore him makes them fly,
Then in them double motion we find,
Eastward they move, and whither by these blasts they're inclin'd.

What they pretend of the Earths gravity,
Is nought but a long taken up conceit:
A stone that downward to the earth doth hy
Is not more heavie then dry straws that jet
Up to a ring, made of black shining jeat.
Each thing doth tend to the loud-calling might
Of sympathy. So 'tis a misconceit
That deems the earth the onely heavie weight:
They ken not the strange power of the strong centrall spright.

Were there a shiver cut from off the Moon
And cast quite off from that round entire masse,
Would't fall into our mouths? No, it would soon
Make back to th' centre from whence forc'd it was
The same in Mars and Sol would come to passe,
And all the stars that have their proper centre.
So gravity is nought but close to presse
Unto one Magick point, there near to enter;
Each sympathetick part doth boldly it adventure.

Thus in each starry globe all parts may tend
Unto one point, and meantime turn around;
Nor doth that sway its circling ought offend:
These motions do not at all confound
One th' others course. The Earth's not heavie found.
But from that strong down-pulling centrall sway,
Which hinders not but that it may turn round,
Sith that it moves not a contrary way;
Which answer I will bend against the fifth assay.

An arrow shot into the empty air,
Which straight returning to the bowmans foot,
The Earths stability must proven clear.
Thus these bad archers do at random shoot,
Whose easie errour I do thus confute.
The arrow hath one spirit with this sphere,
Forc'd upward turns with it, mov'd by the root
Of naturall motion. So when back's doth bear
It self, still Eastward turns with motions circular.

So 'tis no wonder when it hath descended
It falleth back to th' place from whence it flew,
Sith all this while its circular course hath bended
Toward the East, and in proportion due
That arcuall Eastern motion did pursue:
Nearer the earth the slower it must go;
These Arks be lesse, but in the heavens blew
Those Arks increase, it must not be so slow,
Thus must it needs return unto its idle bow.

Nor ought we wonder that it doth conform
Its motions to the circles of the aire,
Sith water in a wooden bucket born
Doth fit itself unto each periphere,
By hight or depth, as you shall change the sphere.
So lowly set more water 't will contain,
'Cause its round tumour higher then doth bear
It self up from the brims. So may's be sayen
The lowlier man the larger graces doth obtain.

But now to answer to the last objection,
Tis not impossible one thing to move
Contrary wayes, which by a fit resection
I strongly will evince and clearly prove.
Take but the pains higher for to remove
A clock with hanging plummet. It goes down
At that same time you heave it high above
Its former place. Thus fairly have we won
The field 'gainst stupid sense, that reason fain would drown.

Now let's go on (we have well-cleard the way)
More plainly prove this seeming paradox
And make this truth shine brighter then midday,
Neglect dull sconses mowes and idle mocks.
O constant hearts, as stark as Thracian rocks,
Well-grounded in grave ignorance, that scorn
Reasons sly force, its light slight subtile strokes.
Sing we to these west hills, dern, deaf, forlorn,
Or to the cheerfull children of the quick-ey'd Morn

To you we sing that live in purer light,
Escap'd the thraldome of down-drooping sense,
Whose nimble spirit and clear piercing sight
Can easly judge of every conference
Withouten prejudice, with patience
Can weigh the moments of each reason brought;
While others in tempestuous vehemence
Blow all away with bitter blasts. Untought
In subtilties they shew themselves in jangling stout.

I have the barking of bold sense confuted,
Its clamorous tongue thus being consopite,
With reasons easie shall I be well-suited,
To show that Pythagore's position's right.
Copernicks, or whosever dogma's hight.
The first is that that's wisely signifi'd
By Moses Maymons son, a learned wight,
Who saith each good Astronomer is ty'd
To lessen the heavens motions vainly multiply'd,

And the foul botches of false feigned Orbs:
Whose uselesse number reason must restrain,
That oft the loose luxuriant phansie curbs,
And in just bounds doth wanly contain:
To use more means then needs is all in vain.
Why then, O busie sonnes of Ptolemee!
Do you that vast star-bearing sphere constrain
To hurl about with such celerity,
When th' earth may move without such strange velocity?

What needlesse phansy's this that that huge sphere
In one short moment must thus whirl around,
That it must fly six hundred thousand sheere
Of Germane miles. If that will not confound,
For pomp adde fourty thousand more, that 'bound;
Three thousand more if it were requisite,
You might annex, and more if they have found
The measure right; whenas the earth's slow flight
One sixteenth of a mile her scarcely doth transmit.

But if this All be liquid, pervious,
One fine Ethereall (which reason right
Will soon admit: for 'tis ridiculous
Thus for to stud the heaven with nails bright,
The stars in fluid sky will stander tight,
As men to feigne the earth in the soft aire
To be unmov'd) How will proportion fit?
So vast a difference there doth appear
Of motions in those stars that the same bignesse bear.

Besides that difficulty will remain
Of unconceivable swift motion
In the equinoctiall stars, where some contain
This earthy globes mighty dimension,
Ten thousand times twise told. They hurry on
With the same swiftnesse I set down before,
And with more pains. A globes extension,
The bigger that it grows, groweth still more
Nigh to a flat fac'd figure, and finds resistance sore.

But now that all the heavens be liquid, hence
I'll fetch an argument. Those higher stars
They may as well in water hang suspense
As do the Planets. Venus orb debars
Not Mars, nor enters he with knocks and jars;
The soft fine yielding Aether gives admission:
So gentle Venus to Mercurius dares
Descend, and finds an easie intromission,
Casts ope that azur curtain by a swift discission.

That famous star nail'd down in Cassiopee,
How was it hammer'd in your solid sky?
What pinsers pull'd it out again, that we
Nor longer see it, whither did it fly?
Astronomers say 'twas least as high
As the eighth sphere. It gave no parallax,
No more then those light lamps that there we spy.
But prejudice before herself she'll tax
Of holy writ and the heavens she'll make a nose of wax.

What man will now that's not vertiginous
Hurrie about his head these severall lights
So mighty vast, with so voracious
And rapid course whirling them day and night
About the earth, when the earths motion might
Save that so monstrous labour, with lesse pains,
Even infinitely lesse? But thoughts empight
Once in the mind do so possesse the brains,
That hard it is to wash out those deep ancient stains.

Two things there be whose reason's nothing clear:
Those cool continuall breathings of East wind
Under the line, the next high Comets are,
In which Philosophers three motions find?
Concerning which men hitherto are blind,
That have not mov'd the earth unto their aid;
Diurnall and an annuall course they have mind,
Like to the sunnes, beside, by what they're sway'd
To North or South. This mystr'y's easly thus display'd.

The Ecliptick course, and that diurnall moving,
Is but apparent as the sunnes, not true:
But that the earth doth move, that still wants proving,
You'll say. Then if you will, these Comets shew
One proof for her two motions. Whence issue
Those meteors turnings? what shall hale them on,
And guide their steps, that in proportion due
They dance Sols measures? what occasion
Or fruit can be of that strange double motion?

Nought but the Earths circumvolution
Doth cause this sight, and but in outward show
This sight of double Sunlike motion,
Seen in the Comets. For the winds that blow
Under the Aequinoctiall, who doth know
Any other cause, that still they breathe from th' East?
That constant feat from whence else can it flow,
Save from the Earths swift hurrying from the West?
Mid part is strongliest rouz'd, the Poles do sleep in rest.

Wherefore men under th' Aequinoctiall,
Where the earths course most rapid is and swift,
Sensibly 're dash'd gainst that Aereall
Pure liquid essence. That clear aire is left
Not snatch'd away so fast, not quite bereft
Of its own Nature, nor like th' other skie
Unmoved quite; but slow-pac'd is ycleft
And driven close together sensibly
So feel we that fine aire that seems from East to flie.

Those parts be in farre greater puritie
Devoid of earthy vapours. Thence it is
They're not so easly turn'd by sympathie,
The air there having lesse of earthinesse;
So that they move not with one speedinesse,
The earth and it. Yet curious men have fun
Something like this, even in the mid-land Seas
Ships foure times sooner the same stages run,
When Westward they do flie, then when they there begun.

But that disgracement of Philosophie,
From flux and reflux of the Ocean main
Their monethly and yearly change; this
Theorie Might take's away and shew the causes plain.
Some parts of th' Earth do much more switnesse gain,
Whenas their course goes whirling on one way
With th' annuall motion, which must needs constrain
The fluid Sea with unexpected sway:
Long time it were this mystery fully to display.

Wherefore I'll let it passe, my self betake
Unto some reasons Astronomicall,
To which if't please the nimble mind t' awake
And shake off prejudice, that wont forestall
The ablest wit, I fear not but he'll fall
Into the same opinion, magnifie
That subtile spirit that hath made this All,
And hath half-hid his work from mortall eye,
To sport and play with souls in sweet philosophie.

But with crabb'd mind wisdome will nere consort,
Make her abode with a sowr ingenie;
That harmlesse spright her self will nere disport
With bloudy zeal, currish malignitie,
With wrathfull ignorance, grave hypocrisie.
Mirth, and Free-mindednesse, Simplicitie,
Patience, Discreetnesse, and Benignitie,
Faithfulnesse, [and] heart-struck Teneritie
These be the lovely play-mates of pure veritie.

The Eternall Son of God, who Logos hight,
Made all things in a fit proportion;
Wherefore, I wote, no man that judgeth right
In Heaven will make such a confusion,
That courses of unlike extension,
Vastly unlike, in like time shall be run
By the flight stars. Such huge distension
Of place, shews that their time is not all one;
Saturn his ring no'te finish as quick as the moon.

Yet if the earth stand stupid and unmov'd,
This needs must come to passe. For they go round
In every twice twelve hours, as is prov'd
By dayly experience. But it would confound
The worlds right order, if't were surely found
A reall motion. Wherefore let it be
In them but seeming, but a reall round
In th' Earth it self. The world so's setten free
From that untoward disproportionalitie.

For so the courses of the erring Seven
With their own orbs will fitly well agree,
Their Annuall periods in the liquid Heaven
They onely finish then: which as they be
Or lesse or greater, so the time they flie
In their own circlings hath its difference.
The Moon a moneth, Saturn years ten times three;
Those have the least and bigg'st circumference:
So all their times and orbs have mutuall reference.

Next light's, the Planets dark opacitie,
Which long time hath been found in the low Moon:
Hills, Valleys, and such like asperitie
Through optick glasses thence have plainly shone:
By the same trick it hath been clearly shown
That Venus Moon-like grows corniculate
What time her face with flusher light is blown:
Some such like things others have contemplate
In Mercurie; about the Sunne both circulate.

When Venus is the furthest off from us,
Then is she in her full. When in her full,
She seemeth least; which proves she's exterous
Beyond the Sunne, and further off doth roll.
But when her circling nearer down doth pull,
Then 'gins she swell, and waxen bug with horn,
But loose her light, parts clad with darknesse dull
She shows to us, She and Mercury ne're born
Farre from the Sunne, proves that about him both do turn.

They both opake, as also is the Moon
That turns about the earth (so turn those foure
'Bout Jupiter, tend him as he doth run
His annuall course). That Tellus so may scoure
Th' Ethereall Plain, and have the self-same power
To run her circuits in the liquid skie
About the Sunne, the mind that doth not four,
Drooping in earthy dregs, will not deny,
Sith we so well have prov'd the starres opacitie.

About the great the lesser lamps do dance,
The Medicean foure reel about Jove;
Two round old Saturn without Nominance,
Luna about the earth doth nimbly move:
Then all as it doth seemly well behove,
About the bigg'st of all great Phoebus hight
With joy and jollitie needs round must rove,
Tickled with pleasure of his heat and light:
What tumbling tricks they play in his farre-piercing sight!

Next argument (could I it well expresse
With Poets pen) it hath so mighty force,
That an ingenious men 'twould stoutly presse,
To give assent unto the Annuall course
Of this our earth. But prejudice the nurse
Of ignorance, stoppeth all free confession,
Als keeps the way that souls have not recourse
To purer reason, chok'd with that oppression:
This argument is drawn from the stars retrocession.

Planets go back, stand still, and forward flie
With unexpected swiftnesse: What's the cause
That they thus stagger in the plain-pav'd skie?
Or stupid stand, as if some dull repose
Did numb their spirits and their sinews lose?
Here 'gins the wheelwork of the Epicycle:
Thus patch they Heaven more botch'dly then old cloths.
This pretty sport doth make my heart to tickle
With laughter, and mine eyes with merry tears to trickle.

O daring phansie! that dost thus compile
The Heavens from hasty thoughts, such as fall next;
Wary Philosophers cannot but smile
At such feat gear, as thy rude rash context.
An heap of Orbs disorderly perplext,
Thrust in on every hint of motion,
Must be the wondrous art of Nature, next
Here working under God. Thus, thus vain man
Intitles alwayes God to his opinion;

Thinks every thing is done as he conceives;
Would bind all men to his religion;
All the world else of freedome he bereaves,
He and his God must have Dominion,
The truth must have her propagation:
That is his thought, which he hath made a God,
That furious hot inust impression
Doth so disturb his veins, that all abroad
With rage he roves, and all gainsayers down hath trod.

But to return from whence my Muse hath flown,
All this disordred superfluity
Of Epicycles, or what else is shown
To salve the strange absurd enormity
Of staggering motions in the azure skie;
Both Epicycles and those turns enorm
Would all prove nought, if you would but let flie
The earth in the Ecliptick line yborn,
As I could well describe in Mathematick form.

So could I (that's another argument)
From this same principle most clearly prove
In regresse and in progress different
Of the free Planets: Why Saturn should rove
With shorter starlings, give back lesse then Jove;
Jove lesse then Mars; why Venus flincheth out
More then Mercurius; why Saturn moves
Ofter in those back jets then Jove doth shoot;
But Mercury more oft then Venus and Mars stout,

And why the Sunne escap'd an Epicycle,
Whenas th' old prodigall Astronomie
On th' other six bestowed that needlesse cycle;
Why Saturn, Jove, and Mars be very nigh
Unto the Earth, show bigger in our eye
At Eventide when they rise Acronicall;
Why far remov'd with so vast distancy
When they go down with setting Cronicall:
All these will plain appear from th' earths course Annuall.

Many other reasons from those heavenly motions
Might well be drawn, but with exility
Of subtile Mathematicks obscure notions,
A Poets pen so fitly no'te agree;
And curious men will judge's a vagrancy
To start thus from my scope. My pitched end
Was for to prove the immortality
Of humane souls: But if you well attend,
My ship to the right port by this bow'd course did bend.

For I have clearly show'd that stout resistance
Of the pure soul against the Mundane spright
And body, that's the lower mans consistence;
How it doth quell by force of reason right
Those grosse impressions which our outward sight
Seald in our lower life: From whence we see
That we have proper independent might,
In our own mind, behold our own Idee,
Which needs must prove the souls sure immortality.

[Grosart (1878) 76-83]

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