"Then grant a Man his Being did commence, / Deny'd by Nature each external Sense, / These Ports unopen'd, diffident we guess, / Th' unconscious Soul no Image could possess. / Tho' what in such a State the restless Train / Of Spirits would produce, we ask in vain."
— Blackmore, Sir Richard (1654-1729)
No Images his naked Mind adorn:
No Sciences or Arts enrich his Brain,
Nor Fancy yet displays her pictur'd Train.
He no Innate Ideas can discern
Of Knowledge destitute, tho' apt to learn.
Our Intellectual, like the Body's Eye,
Whilst in the Womb, no Object can descry;
Yet is dispos'd to entertain the Light,
And judge of Things when offer'd to the Sight.
When Objects thro' the Senses Passage gain,
And fill with various Imag'ry the Brain,
Th' Ideas, which the Mind does thence perceive,
To Think and Know the first Occasion give.
Did she not use the Senses Ministry,
Nor ever Taste, or Smell, or Hear, or See,
Cou'd she possest of Pow'r perceptive be?
Wretches, who sightless into Being came,
Of Light or Colour no Idea frame.
Then grant a Man his Being did commence,
Deny'd by Nature each external Sense,
These Ports unopen'd, diffident we guess,
Th' unconscious Soul no Image could possess.
Tho' what in such a State the restless Train
Of Spirits would produce, we ask in vain.
The Mind proceeds, and to Reflection goes,
Perceives she does Perceive, and knows she Knows.
Reviews her Acts, and does from thence conclude
She is with Reason and with Choice endu'd.
(VII, ll. 228-256, pp. 324-6)
Text from Sir Richard Blackmore, Creation: A Philosophical Poem. Demonstrating the Existence and Providence of a God, 2nd ed. (London: S. Buckley and J. Tonson, 1712). <Link to ESTC><Link to ECCO>
Other Online Editions: first edition (also published in 1712) is available <Link to ECCO>. See also 3rd edition (1715) <Link to Google Books>.