Nature did of great rocks and mountains build1
A city, with all sorts of creatures filled.2
The citizens are worms, which seldom stir,3
But sit within their shops and sell their ware.
The moles are magistrates, who undermine4 5
Each one’s estate, that they their wealth may find,5
And with6 extortions they7 high houses make,8
Called mole-hills, wherein they pleasure take.9
The lazy dormouse in her house10 doth keep—
The gentry, which doth11 eat, and drink, and sleep— 10
Unless it be to hunt about for nuts,
Wherein the sport is still to fill their guts.
The peasant ants with their industrious feet12
Provisions get, made by hard labors sweet.13
They dig, they draw, they plow, and reap with care, 15
And what they get they to their barns do bear.
But after all their husbandry and pains,
Extortion comes and eats up all their gains.
All sorts of bugs, as several merchants, do14
In all things trade, and each place travel to.15 20
But vapors, they are artisans with skill,
And make strong winds to send which way they will.
They do round balls of wildfire make16 to run,
Which spreads about17 when that round form’s undone.
This is the city which great Nature makes, 25
And in this city she great18 pleasure takes.
- did of great rocks and mountains build] of Mountaines, Rocks, a City built, 1653
- A city, with all sorts of creatures filled.] Where many severall Creatures therein dwelt. 1653
- seldom stir,] stir not far, 1664, 1668
- are magistrates, who undermine] as Magistrates, do Mine about 1664; as Magistrates, do Mine about 1668
- that they their wealth may find,] to find their Riches out, 1664; to find their Riches out: 1668
- And with] With their 1653
- they] do 1664, 1668
- make,] builds 1653
- Called mole-hills, wherein they pleasure take.] To take their Pleasure in, called Mole-hills. 1653
- in her house] Gentry 1653
- The gentry, which doth] Much in their Houses, 1653
- with their industrious feet] industrious are to get 1653
- get, made by hard labors sweet.] store, hard Labours make them sweet. 1653. In 1668, the last word is spelled “sweat.”
- All sorts of bugs, as several merchants, do] And Merchant Bugs of all sorts they 1653
- In all things trade, and each place travel to.] Traffick on all things, travell every way. 1653
- do round balls of wildfire make] make them like a Ball of Wild-fire 1653
- about] it selfe about, 1653
- she great] Nature 1653