The Increasing and Decreasing of Visible Fire

Fire being kindled first appears1 but small,
But growing strong, it wastes and burns up2 all.
Just like a crow, that on a dead horse lights:
When other crows perceive it3 in their flights,
They straight invite themselves unto that feast,             5
And thus4 from one, to numbers are increased.
So atoms sharp which singly fly about
Join with the rest to eat the fuel out.
And as the fuel doth increase, so5 they,
And as it wastes, so they do6 fly away.7                           10

  1. Fire being kindled first appears] When Fuel’s kindled, Fire seemes 1653
  2. But growing strong, it wastes and burns up] That Fuell afterward doth seem Fire 1653
  3. perceive it] perceiving 1653
  4. thus] so 1664, 1668
  5. so] do 1653
  6. they do] do they 1653
  7. A marginal note in Cavendish’s 1653 text reads: “When there is no substance left for sharp atoms to work upon, they disperse, for they seek to undo the composure of all other atoms.”