Of Light and Sight

Some learnèd men, which think1 to reason well,
Say light and color in the brain do dwell,
That motion in the brain doth light beget,2
And if no brain, the world in darkness shut.3
But be it4 that the brain hath eyes to see,                           5
Then5 eyes and brain would6 make the light to be.
If so, poor Donne was out when he did say
If all the world were blind, ’twould still be day.
Say they, light would not in the air7 reign,
Unless you’ll grant8 the world were one great brain.     10
Some ages in some opinions all agree;9
The next doth strive to make them false to be.
But10 what is new doth all so pleasing sound,11
That reasons old are as mere nonsense found.12
But all opinions are by fancy fed,                                        15
And truth lies under those opinions,13 dead.

  1. Some learnèd men, which think] Philosophers, which thought 1653
  2. doth light beget] all Light doth give 1664, 1668
  3. in darkness shut.] in dark would Live; 1664; in dark would live. 1668
  4. But be it] Provided 1653
  5. Then] So 1653
  6. would] do 1653
  7. light would not in the air] then there no Light i’th’ Air would 1664, 1668
  8. you’ll grant] (you’le grant) 1653
  9. Some ages in some opinions all agree;] Some Ages in Opinion all agree, 1653; Some Age in some Opinions doth agree, 1664; Some Age, in some Opinions, doth agree: 1668
  10. But] For 1664, 1668
  11. new doth all so pleasing sound,] doth please so well the Sense, 1653
  12. as mere nonsense found.] thought to be Non-sense. 1653
  13. lies under those opinions] under Opinions lieth 1653