In the afterlife, "each Soul must drink long Draughts / Of those forgetful Streams."

— Evans, Abel (1679-1737)

Place of Publication
Printed for John Clark
In the afterlife, "each Soul must drink long Draughts / Of those forgetful Streams."
Metaphor in Context
Beneath; mishapen Chaos, and the Field
Of fighting Atoms, where hot, moist and dry,
Wage an eternal War with dismal Roar;
The dismal Roar breaks smoothly on the Ground,
Sacred to horror, and eternal Night:
Here Silence sits, whose visionary Shape
In Folds of wreathy mantling sinks obscure
And in dark Fumes reclines his drowsy head;
An Urn he holds, from whence a Lake proceeds,
Wide, flowing gently, smooth, and Lethe nam'd:
Hither compell'd, each Soul must drink long Draughts
Of those forgetful Streams
, 'till Forms within,
And all the great Ideas fade and die:
For if vast Thoughts shou'd play about a Mind
Inclos'd in Flesh, and dregging cumbrous Life,
Fluttering and beating in the mournful Cage,
It soon wou'd break its Grates and wing away:
'Tis therefore my Decree, the Soul return
Naked from off this Beach and perfect Blank,
To visit the New World; and strait to feel
Itself, in crude consistence closely shut,
The dreadful Monument of just Revenge;
Immur'd by Heaven's own Hand, and plac'd erect
On fleeting Matter, all imprison'd round
With Walls of Clay; th' Æthereal Mould shall bear
The Chain of Members, deafen'd with an Ear,
Blinded by Eyes, and manacl'd in Hands.
Here Anger, vast Ambition, and Disdain,
And all the haughty Movements rise and fall,
As Storms of neighbouring Atoms tear the Soul;
And Hope, and Love, and all the calmer turns
Of easy Hours, in their gay gilded Shapes,
With sudden run, skin o'er deluded Minds,
As matter leads the Dance; but one Desire
Unsatisfied, shall marr ten thousand Joys.
(pp. 12-4, ll. 180-214)
Searching "soul" and "blank" in HDIS (Poetry)
3 entries in ESTC (1714, 1740, 1800).

Præ-Existence. A Poem, In Imitation of Milton. (London: Printed for John Clark, at the Bible and Crown in the Old Change, near St. Paul’s, 1714). <Link to ESTC>
Date of Entry

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.