"As some way-faring Man, who wanders o'er / In Thought, a Length of Lands he trod before, / Sends forth his active Mind from Place to Place, / Joins Hill to Dale, and measures Space with Space: / So swift flew Juno to the blest Abodes, / If Thought of Man can match the Speed of Gods."
— Pope, Alexander (1688-1744)
Swift from th' Idæan Summit shot to Heav'n.
As some way-faring Man, who wanders o'er
In Thought, a Length of Lands he trod before,
Sends forth his active Mind from Place to Place,
Joins Hill to Dale, and measures Space with Space:
So swift flew Juno to the blest Abodes,
If Thought of Man can match the Speed of Gods.
There sate the Pow'rs in awful Synod plac'd;
They bow'd, and made Obeysance as she pass'd,
Thro' all the brazen Dome: With Goblets crown'd
They hail her Queen; the Nectar streams around.
Fair Themis first presents the golden Bowl,
And anxious asks, what Cares disturb her Soul?
Verse 86. As some way-faring Man , &c.]
The Discourse of Jupiter to Juno being ended, she ascends to Heaven with wonderful Celerity, which the Poet explains by this Comparison. On other Occasions he has illustrated the Action of the Mind by sensible Images from the Motion of the Bodies; here he inverts the Case, and shews the great Velocity of Juno's Flight by comparing it to the Quickness of Thought. No other Comparison could have equall'd the Speed of an heavenly Being. To render this more beautiful and exact, the Poet describes a Traveller who revolves in his Mind the several Places which he has seen, and in an Instant passes in Imagination from one distant Part of the Earth to another. Milton seems to have had it in his Eye in that elevated Passage,
------ The Speed of Gods
Time counts not, tho' with swiftest Minutes wing'd.
As the Sense in which we have explain'd this Passage is exactly literal, as well as truly sublime, one cannot but wonder what should induce both Hobbes and Chapman to ramble so wide from it in their Translations.
This said, went Juno to Olympus high.
As when a Man looks o'er an ample Plain,
To any distance quickly goes his Eye :
So swiftly Juno went with little Pain.
Chapman's is yet more foreign to the Subject,
But as the Mind of such a Man, that hath a great way gone,
And either knowing not his way, or then would let alone
His purpos'd Journey; is distract, and in his vexed Mind
Resolves now not to go, now goes, still many ways inclin'd ------
See The Iliad of Homer, Translated by Mr. Pope, 6 vols. (London: Printed by W. Bowyer, for Bernard Lintott, 1715-1720). <Link to ESTC><Link to Vol. I in ECCO-TCP><Vol. II><Vol. III><Vol. IV><Vol. V><Vol. VI>