Similizing the Head of Man to the World


The head of man is like the world made round,
And2 all the elements are in it3 found.
The brain’s the4 earth from whence all plants do spring,
And from the womb it doth all creatures bring.
Forehead and nose are5 hills that6 do rise high,                       5
And7 overtop the dales that level lie.
The hair, like8 trees which long9 in length do grow,
And like their10 leaves, which11 wind waves12 to and fro.
Wit, like to several creatures, wild doth run13
On several subjects, which14 each other shun.15                      10
The blood, as seas, doth through the veins run round,
The sweat, as springs by which fresh water’s found.
As winds, which from the hollow caves do blow,
So through the mouth the winded breath doth go.
The eyes are like the sun, and do give16 light;                           15
When senses are asleep, it is dark night.
And17 after sleep half open are the eyes,
Like18 dawning light, when first the sun doth rise.
When they do drowsy grow, then sets the sun,19
And when the lids are shut it is quite gone.20                            20
When heavy they’re and dull, like mist it seems,21
Or a dark cloud which hides the sun’s bright beams,22
Which shows that there some23 shower of tears will fall,
Where cheeks, as flow’ry banks, grow moist24 withal.
As twinkling stars show in dark clouds most25 clear,              25
So fancies quick do in the brain appear.
Imaginations like the orbs move round,26
Whereof some27 quick, others are slower found.28
And29 solid thoughts, like30 the twelve signs, do prove,31
And round32 the zodiac of wisdom move,33                               30
Where they as constantly in wisdom run,
As in the line ecliptic doth the sun.

I to th’ecliptic34 line the head compare;
The illustrious35 wit, to36 the sun’s bright sphere.
The brain I liken to37 the solid Earth,                                          35
From whence all wisdom hath its life and birth,38
And39 as the Earth, so is the40 head’s round ball,
For it is41 crowned with orbs celestial42
And thus the43 head and world as one agree,
For Nature made44 the head a world to be.                                40

  1. Similizing the Head of Man to the World] Man’s Head Similized to the Globe of the World. 1664; Man’s Head similized to the Globe of the World. 1668
  2. And] Where 1653
  3. are in it] in it are 1653
  4. brain’s the] Braine, as 1653
  5. Forehead and nose are] The Fore-head, Nose, like 1653
  6. that] which 1664, 1668
  7. And] Which 1653
  8. like] as 1653
  9. long] much 1664, 1668
  10. their] its 1653
  11. which] with 1653
  12. waves] wave 1664, 1668
  13. wild doth run] wildly runs 1653
  14. which] and 1653
  15. shun.] shuns. 1653
  16. and do give] do give in 1653
  17. And] When 1664, 1668
  18. Like] ’Tis 1664, 1668
  19. then sets the sun,] the Sun doth set; 1653
  20. the lids are shut it is quite gone.] tis quite gone downe, the Lids do shut. 1653
  21. heavy they’re and dull, like mist it seems,] they are dull, and heavie, like thick Mist seem, 1653
  22. a dark cloud which hides the sun’s bright beams,] as a dark black Cloud hides the Suns Beame. 1653
  23. Which shows that there some] By which there shews, some 1653
  24. Where cheeks, as flow’ry banks, grow moist] And moisten th’Cheeks, as flowry Banks 1664, 1668
  25. most] that’s 1653
  26. round,] so, 1653
  27. Whereof some] Some very 1653
  28. are slower found.] do move more slow. 1653
  29. And] But 1664, 1668
  30. like] as 1653
  31. do prove,] are plac’d 1653
  32. And round] About 1653
  33. of wisdom move,] which is Wisedome vast. 1653
  34. I to th’ecliptic] To the Ecliptick 1653
  35. The illustrious] Illustrious 1664, 1668
  36. to] unto 1664, 1668
  37. I liken to] unto 1653
  38. life and birth,] Birth. 1653
  39. And] Just 1653
  40. so is the] the 1653
  41. For it is] Is 1653
  42. A marginal note in Cavendish’s 1653 text reads: “Five senses.” In 1664 and 1668 the note reads, “The five senses.”
  43. And thus the] So 1653
  44. For Nature made] Nature did make 1653