Small atoms of themselves a world may make,
For, being subtle, every shape they take.
And as they dance about, they places find;
Such forms as best agree make every kind.
For when we build a house of brick or stone,
We lay them even, every one by one:
And when we find a gap that’s big or small,
We seek out stones to fit that place withal.
For when as they too big or little be,
They fall away and cannot stay, we see.
So atoms as they dance find places fit;
They there remain, lie close, and fast will stick.
Those which not fit, the rest that rove about
Do never leave, until they thrust them out.
Thus by their several motions, and their forms,
As several workmen serve each other’s turns.
And so by chance may a new world create,
Or else, predestinate, may work by Fate.
by Margaret Lucas Cavendish
Margaret Cavendish and her husband, William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
- Picture by By Warburg – Gonzales Coques, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29325462
Margaret Lucas Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1623 – 15 December 1673) was an English aristocrat, philosopher, poet, scientist, fiction-writer, and playwright during the 17th century. Born Margaret Lucas, she was the youngest sister of prominent royalists Sir John Lucas and Sir Charles Lucas, who owned the manor of St. John’s Abbey in Colchester . She became an attendant of Queen Henrietta Maria and traveled with her into exile in France, living for a time at the court of the young King Luis XIV. She became the second wife of William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1645, when he was a marquess.
Cavendish was a poet, philosopher, writer of prose romances, essayist, and playwright who published under her own name at a time when most women writers published anonymously. Her writing addressed a number of topics, including gender, power, manners, scientific method, and philosophy.