The nature of room, the space of the abyss Is such that even the flashing thunderbolts Can neither speed upon their courses through, Gliding across eternal tracts of time, Nor, further, bring to pass, as on they run, That they may bate their journeying one whit: Such huge abundance spreads for things around- Room off to every quarter, without end. Lastly, before our very eyes is seen Thing to bound thing: air hedges hill from hill, And mountain walls hedge air; land ends the sea, And sea in turn all lands; but for the All Truly is nothing which outside may bound. That, too, the sum of things itself may not Have power to fix a measure of its own, Great nature guards, she who compels the void To bound all body, as body all the void, Thus rendering by these alternates the whole An infinite; or else the one or other, Being unbounded by the other, spreads, Even by its single nature, ne'ertheless Immeasurably forth.... Nor sea, nor earth, nor shining vaults of sky, Nor breed of mortals, nor holy limbs of gods Could keep their place least portion of an hour: For, driven apart from out its meetings fit, The stock of stuff, dissolved, would be borne Along the illimitable inane afar, Or rather, in fact, would ne'er have once combined And given a birth to aught, since, scattered wide, It could not be united. For of truth Neither by counsel did the primal germs 'Stablish themselves, as by keen act of mind, Each in its proper place; nor did they make, Forsooth, a compact how each germ should move; But since, being many and changed in many modes Along the All, they're driven abroad and vexed By blow on blow, even from all time of old, They thus at last, after attempting all The kinds of motion and conjoining, come Into those great arrangements out of which This sum of things established is create, By which, moreover, through the mighty years, It is preserved, when once it has been thrown Into the proper motions, bringing to pass That ever the streams refresh the greedy main With river-waves abounding, and that earth, Lapped in warm exhalations of the sun, Renews her broods, and that the lusty race Of breathing creatures bears and blooms, and that The gliding fires of ether are alive- What still the primal germs nowise could do, Unless from out the infinite of space Could come supply of matter, whence in season They're wont whatever losses to repair. For as the nature of breathing creatures wastes, Losing its body, when deprived of food: So all things have to be dissolved as soon As matter, diverted by what means soever From off its course, shall fail to be on hand. Nor can the blows from outward still conserve, On every side, whatever sum of a world Has been united in a whole. They can Indeed, by frequent beating, check a part, Till others arriving may fulfil the sum; But meanwhile often are they forced to spring Rebounding back, and, as they spring, to yield, Unto those elements whence a world derives, Room and a time for flight, permitting them To be from off the massy union borne Free and afar. Wherefore, again, again: Needs must there come a many for supply; And also, that the blows themselves shall be Unfailing ever, must there ever be An infinite force of matter all sides round.