The Four Elements

The Fire, Air, Earth and water did contest

Which was the strongest, noblest and the best,

Who was of greatest use and might’est force;

In placide Terms they thought now to discourse,

That in due order each her turn should speak;

But enmity this amity did break

All would be chief, and all scorn’d to be under

Whence issu’d winds & rains, lightning & thunder

The quaking earth did groan, the Sky lookt black

The Fire, the forced Air, in sunder crack;

The sea did threat the heav’ns, the heavn’s the earth,

All looked like a Chaos or new birth:

Fire broyled Earth, & scorched Earth it choaked

Both by their darings, water so provoked

That roaring in it came, and with its source

Soon made the Combatants abate their force

The rumbling hissing, puffing was so great

The worlds confusion, it did seem to threat

Till gentle Air, Contention so abated

That betwixt hot and cold, she arbitrated

The others difference, being less did cease

All storms now laid, and they in perfect peace

That Fire should first begin, the rest consent,

The noblest and most active Element.