Of Many Worlds in this World

Just like as in1 a nest of boxes round
Degrees of sizes in2 each box are found,
So in this world, may many worlds more3 be,
Thinner and less, and less still by degree.
Although they are not subject to our sense,              5
A world may be no bigger than twopence.
Nature is curious, and such works may shape4
Which our dull senses easily escape.5
For creatures small as atoms may be there,
If every atom6 a creature’s figure bear.                    10
If atoms four7 a world can make,8 then see
What several worlds might in an earring be.
For millions of these9 atoms may be in
The head of one small little single pin.
And if thus small, then ladies well may10 wear       15
A world of worlds as pendants in each ear.

  1. as in] unto 1653
  2. in] within 1653
  3. worlds more] others 1664, 1668
  4. works may shape] worke may make, 1653
  5. Which our dull senses easily escape.] That our dull Sense can never finde, but scape. 1653
  6. atom] one 1664, 1668
  7. atoms four] foure Atomes 1653; four Atomes 1664
  8. A marginal note in Cavendish’s 1653 text reads: “As I have before showed they do, in my atoms” [i.e., in her poems about atoms].
  9. these] those 1664, 1668
  10. well may] may well 1664, 1668