Of Birds

Who knows, but birds which under th’azure skies1
Do fly, know2 whence the blustring winds do rise?3
May know what4 thunder is, which no man knows,
And what’s a blazing star,5 or where it goes,
Whether it be a chip, fall’n6 from the sun,                        5
And so goes out when7 aliment is done,
Or8 a sulphureous vapor drawn up high,
And when the sulphur’s spent the flame doth die,
Or whether’t9 be a jelly set on fire,
And wasting like a candle doth expire,                              10
Or whether’t10 be a star whole and11 entire;
The birds, perhaps, might tell,12 could we inquire.

  1. under th’azure skies] in the Aire flyes, 1653
  2. fly, know] know from 1653
  3. rise?] rise: 1668
  4. May know what] And what a 1664, 1668
  5. what’s a a blazing star,] what a blazing Star 1664; what a BlazingStarr, 1668
  6. fall’n] fallen 1653
  7. so goes out when] Vanish when its 1664; vanish when its 1668
  8. Or] Whether 1653
  9. whether’t] whether it 1653
  10. whether’t] whether it 1653
  11. whole and] wholly 1653
  12. The birds, perhaps, might tell,] Perchance might know of Birds, 1653