Rust may "fair endowments hide"

— Tollet, Elizabeth (1694-1754)

Work Title
1724, 1755
Rust may "fair endowments hide"
Metaphor in Context
Nature in vain can womankind inspire
With brighter pictures of active fire,
Which to their frame a due proportion hold,
Refined by dwelling in a purer mould,
If useless rust must fair endowments hide,
Or wit, disdaining ease, be misapplied.
'Tis then that wit, which reason should refine,
And disengage the metal from the mine,
Luxuriates, or degenerates design.
Wit unemployed becomes a dangerous thing,
As water stagnate and defile their spring.
The cultivated mind, a fertile soil,
With rich increase rewards the useful toil:
But fallow left, an hateful crop succeeds
Of tangling brambles and pernicious weeds;
'Tis endless labour then the ground to clear,
And trust the doubtful earnest of the year.

Yet oft we hear, in height of stupid pride,
Some senseless idiot curse a lettered bride.
(ll. 22-40, p. 100)
3 entries in ESTC (1724, 1755, 1756).

See Poems on Several Occasions. With Anne Boleyn to King Henry VIII. An Epistle. (London: Printed for John Clarke at the Bible under the Royal-Exchange, 1724). <Link to ESTC><Link to ECCO>

Text from reissue of 1755 edition: Poems on Several Occasions. With Anne Boleyn to King Henry VIII. An Epistle. By Mrs. Elizabeth Tollet, 2nd ed. (London: Printed for T. Lownds, 1756). <Link to ESTC>

Also reading excerpts in Lonsdale's. Eighteenth Century Women Poets (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989).
Date of Entry
Date of Review

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