My university’s library has a facsimile edition of Cavendish’s “Poems and Fancies”,which I checked out and am occasionally reading through a bit,
So I thought I’d periodically share some of her verse. I have left her spelling as it is in the facsimile edition, but I updated the medial ‘s’ for greater legibility:
Motion is the Life of all Things
As darknesse a privation is of Light;
That’s when the Opticke Nerve is stopt from Light:
So Death is even a cessation in
Those Formes, and Bodies, wherein Motions spin.
As Light can only shine but in the Eye,
So Life doth only in a Motion lye.
Thus Life is out, when Motion leaves to bee,
Like to an Eye that’s shut, no Light can see.
Some thinke the World would fall, and not hang so,
If it had any empty place to go.
One cannot thinke that Vacuum is so vast,
That the great World might in that Gulfe be cast.
But Vacuum like is to the Porous Skyn,
Where Vapour goeth out and Aire takes in:
And though that Vapour fills those places small,
We cannot thinke, but first were empty all:
For were they all first full, they could not make
Roome for succession, their places for to take.
But as those Atomes passe, and repasse through,
Yet still in empty places must they go.