"As in a Hive's vimineous Dome, / Ten thousand Bees enjoy their Home; / Each does her studious Action vary, / To go and come, to fetch and carry: / Each still renews her little Labor; / Nor justles her assiduous Neighbour."
— Prior, Matthew (1664-1721)
The various Lab'rinths of the Brain?
Surprise My Readers, whilst I tell 'em
Of Cerebrum, and Cerebellum?
How could I play the Commentator
On Dura, and on Pia Mater?
Where Hot and Cold, and Dry and Wet,
Strive each the t'other's Place to get;
And with incessant Toil and Strife,
Would keep Possession during Life.
I could demonstrate every Pore,
Where Mem'ry lays up all her Store;
And to an Inch compute the Station,
'Twixt Judgment, and Imagination.
O Friend! I could display much Learning,
At least to Men of small Discerning.
The Brain contains ten thousand Cells:
In each some active Fancy dwells;
Which always is at Work, and framing
The several Follies I was naming.
As in a Hive's vimineous Dome,
Ten thousand Bees enjoy their Home;
Each does her studious Action vary,
To go and come, to fetch and carry:
Each still renews her little Labor;
Nor justles her assiduous Neighbour:
Each--whilst this Thesis I maintain;
I fancy, Dick, I know thy Brain.
O with the mighty Theme affected,
Could I but see thy Head dissected!
See Prior's Alma: Or, The Progress of the Mind. In Three Cantos published in Poems on Several Occasions (London: Printed for J. Tonson and J. Barber, 1718). <Link to ECCO>
Searching text from Poems on Several Occasions, ed. A. R. Waller (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1905). Reading The Literary Works of Matthew Prior, ed. H. Bunker Wright and Monroe K. Spears. 2 vols. 2nd Edition (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1971).