The Agility of Water


Water is apt to move, since2 round like balls:
No points it hath, but trundles3 as it falls.
This makes the sea, when like great4 mountains high
The waves do rise, it cannot steady5 lie,
But falls again into a liquid plain                                         5
When winds disturb it not, there to6 remain.
Thus wat’ry balls, they do not intermix,7
But stick so close,8 as nothing is betwixt.

  1. In 1653 this poem is called “The Agilenesse of Water”
  2. since] being 1653
  3. it hath, but trundles] to fixe, doth trundle 1653
  4. great] to 1664, 1668
  5. cannot steady] steddy cannot 1653
  6. When winds disturb it not, there to] Tides, Winds disturbe them not, levell 1653
  7. do not intermix,] are not intermixt, 1664, 1668
  8. A marginal note in Cavendish’s 1653 text reads: “Those drops joining close and even.” In 1664 and 1668, the same note reads: “That is, the drops which join close and even.”