Bessler's Apologia Poetica

(Kassel, 1716)

Adapted from: Perpetual Motion: An Ancient Mystery Solved?, John Collins, Permo Publications, 1997.

Below is an excerpt (translated from German) that many believe is a metaphor for the internal workings of the machine:

Those who are keen to ask questions
should ask them of this little book.
My deeds will not be revealed prematurely.
Should anyone wish to speculate about the truth,
let him ponder the rich pageant of words
which I now cause to shower down upon him!

Greed is an evil root.
An anvil receives many blows.
A driver drives. A runner runs.
A seer sees. The buyer buys.
The rain flows. Snow falls.
The jack fires. The bow twangs;
a large herd of fat, lazy,
plump horses wanders aimlessly.
The flail wants to be with the
thresher, not with the scholar.
Children play among the pillars
with loud heavy clubs.
Acrobats and shadow-boxers
are as swift and nimble as the wind.
The cunning cat slinks quietly along
and snatches juicy mice.
The dog creeps out of his kennel
just as far as his chain will stretch.
He knows how to please by playing
with his toys and knick-knacks.
He wags his tail, creeps through the hoop,
and is rewarded with a pat on the paws
by the stiff fops who watch him.

A wheel appears - is it really a wheel, for it does not have a normal rim.
It revolves, but without other wheels inside or outside,
and without weights, wind, or springs.
Seen sideways or full face it is as glorious as a peacock's tail.
It turns to the right and to the left.
It spins around in any direction whether laden or empty.

All things belong to one of three kingdoms and you have the evidence before you.
Without such things as sulfur, salt, and mercury, all things will come to a standstill.
The qualities of the elements are necessary to keep things going.
Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter are ready to join in any battle.
The things we eat run through every limb and sinue of our bodies.
A crab crawls from side to side; It is sound for it is designed thus.
Poltergeists wander freely through locked doors.

But softly! - speak softly of all these marvels,
lest the enemy grows wise! He will drench me with his spittle
so that I will lose my temper and in a sudden fit,
cast aside the mantle that conceals my wheel.
But he shall be thwarted in his desires.