Nature’s Exercise and Pastime

Great Nature doth by1 variations live,2
For she to none a constant course doth give.3
We find in change she swiftly runs about,
To keep her health and get4 long life (no doubt).
And we are only food for Nature fine,5                                   5
Our flesh her meat, our blood is her strong wine.6
The trees and herbs, fruits, roots, and flowers sweet,
Are but her salads, or such cooling meat.
The sea’s her bath to wash and cleanse her in
When weary she hath on a7 journey been.                            10
The sun’s her fire, which8 serves her many ways,
His lights9 her looking-glass, and beauties10 praise.
The winds,11 her horses, pace as she doth12 please,
The clouds her chariot where she sits with13 ease.
The Earth’s her ball, which she oft14 trundles round;         15
She in this15 exercise much good hath found.
Night is her bed, her rest therein to take;
Silence doth watch16 lest noise might her awake.
The spheres her music, and the Milky Way
Is where she dances whilst those spheres do play.              20

  1. doth by] by 1653
  2. live,] lives, 1653
  3. to none a constant course doth give.] no constant course to any gives. 1653
  4. get] yet 1653
  5. are only food for Nature fine,] for Nature are the only Food, 1664; for Nature, are the only Food; 1668
  6. Our flesh her meat, our blood is her strong wine.] Her Meat’s our Flesh, and her strong Wine our Blood; 1664; Her Meat’s our Flesh; and her strong Wine, our Blood. 1668
  7. weary she hath on a] she is weary, hot, or 1653
  8. which] he 1653
  9. lights] Light 1664; Light, 1668
  10. beauties] Beauty’s 1664, 1668
  11. winds,] Wind 1653
  12. pace as she doth] paces as she 1653
  13. where she sits with] soft to sit in 1653
  14. which she oft] by which She 1653
  15. She in this] In this slow 1653
  16. doth watch] watches, 1653