Lucretius: from “On the Nature of Things”
Another fact I wish to have you know:
When the atoms are carried straight down through the void
By their own weight, at an utterly random time
And a random point in space they swerve a little,
Only enough to call it a tilt in motion.
For if atoms did not tend to lean, they would
Plummet like raindrops through the depths of space,
No first collisions born, no blows created,
So Nature never could have made a thing.
“On the Nature of Things” (ll 217-225)
Translation by Anthony M. Esolen