There may be many worlds like circles round;
In after ages more worlds may be found.1
If we by art of shipping could into2
Each circle slip, we might perhaps it know.3
This world compared to some may be but small: 5
No doubt but4 Nature made degrees of all.
If not, Drake ne’er had made so quick a skip5
About the largest circle in6 his7 ship.
For8 some may be so big as none can swim,
Had they the life of old Methusalem. 10
Or had they lives to number with each day,
They would want time to compass half the way.
But if that Drake had lived in Venus’s9 star,
His journey shorter might have10 been by far.
- In after ages more worlds may be found.] And many more in After-ages found; 1664; And many more in After-ages found: 1668
- by art of shipping could into] into each Circle can but slip, 1653
- Each circle slip, we might perhaps it know.] By Art of Navigation in a Ship; 1653
- but] for 1664, 1668
- If not, Drake ne’er had made so quick a skip] If so, then Drake had never gone so quick 1653. The “Drake” referred to is Sir Francis Drake, a sixteenth-century explorer who circumnavigated the globe, proving the Earth was round. See also Cavendish’s World’s Olio (London, 1665), sig. R2v: “How strongly did Europe believe that all the World was discovered, and yet afterwards so much found out, as it seemed another World? and many believi’d that the Earth was flat and not round, but Cavendish, Drake, and others, rectified that Error.”
- in] with 1664, 1668
- his] one 1653
- For] But 1664, 1668
- Venus’s] Venus 1653, 1668
- shorter might have] might have shorter 1664, 1668