When Reason's "Pow'r is Despicable grown, / And Rebel Appetites Usurp my Throne, / The Soul no longer quiet Thoughts enjoys; / But all is Tumult, and Eternal Noise."

— Pomfret, John (1667-1702)

Place of Publication
When Reason's "Pow'r is Despicable grown, / And Rebel Appetites Usurp my Throne, / The Soul no longer quiet Thoughts enjoys; / But all is Tumult, and Eternal Noise."
Metaphor in Context
Youth, she reply'd, this place belongs to one,
By whom you'll be, and Thousands are undone.
These pleasant Walks, and all these shady Bow'rs
Are in the Government of dang'rous Pow'rs.
Love's the capricious Master of this Coast,
This fatal Labyrinth where Fools are lost.
I dwell not here amidst these gaudy Things,
Whose short Enjoyment no true Pleasure brings.
But have an Empire of a nobler kind,
My regal Seat's in the celestial Mind;
Where with a God-like, and a Peaceful Hand
I Rule, and make those Happy, I Command.
For while I Govern, all within's at Rest;
No Stormy Passion Revels in the Breast:
But when my Pow'r is Despicable grown,
And Rebel Appetites Usurp my Throne,
The Soul no longer quiet Thoughts enjoys;
But all is Tumult, and Eternal Noise.

Know Youth! I'm Reason, which you've oft despiz'd,
I am that Reason, which you never Priz'd:
And tho' my Arguments Successless prove,
(For Reason seems Impertinence in Love.)
Yet I'll not see my Charge, (for all Mankind
Are to my Guardianship by Heav'n assign'd)
Into the Grasp of any Ruin run,
That I can warn 'em of, and they may shun.
Fly Youth these Guilty Shades, retreat in time
E'er your Mistake's converted to a Crime;
For Ignorance no longer can attone,
When once the Error, and the Fault is known.
You thought perhaps, as Giddy Youth inclines,
Imprudently to value all that Shines,
In these Retirements freely to possess
True Joy, and strong substantial Happiness.
But here Gay Folly keeps her Court, and here
In Crowds her Tributary Fops appear;
Who blindly Lavish of their Golden Days,
Consume them all in her Fallacious Ways.
Pert Love with her, by joint Commission Rules
In this Capacious Realm of Idle Fools;
Who by false Arts, and Popular Deceits,
The Careless, Fond, Unthinking Mortal Cheats.
'Tis easy to descend into the Snare,
By the pernicious Conduct of the Fair;
But Safely to return from this Abode
Requires the Wit, the Prudence of a God;
Tho' you, who have not tasted that Delight,
Which only at a Distance charms your Sight;
May with a little Toil retreive your Heart,
Which lost, is subject to Eternal Smart.
Bright Delia's Beauty, I must needs confess.
Is truly Great, nor would I make it less:
That were to wrong Her, where she Merits most,
But Dragons guard the Fruit, and Rocks the Coast.
And who would run, that's moderately Wise,
A Certain Danger, for a Doubtful Prize?
If you miscarry, you are lost so far,
(For there's no erring Twice in Love, and War)
You'll ne'er recover, but must always Wear
Those Chains you'll find it difficult to bear.
Delia has Charms I own, such Charms would move,
Old Age, and frozen Impotence to Love;
But do not Venture where such Danger lies,
Avoid the Sight of those Victorious Eyes,
Whose pois'nous Rays do to the Soul impart
Delicious Ruin, and a pleasing Smart.
You draw, Insensibly, Destruction near,
And Love the Danger, which you ought to fear.
If the light Pains, you labour under Now
Destroy your Ease, and make your Spirits Bow?
You'll find 'em much more grievous to be born,
When heavier made by an imperious Scorn.
Nor can you hope, she will your Passion hear
With softer Notions, or a kinder Ear,
Than those of other Swains, who always found,
She rather widen'd, than clos'd up the Wound.
But grant she should indulge your Flame, and give
Whate'er you'd ask, nay all you can receive;
The short liv'd Pleasure would so quickly cloy,
Bring such a weak, and such a feeble Joy,
You'd have but small Encouragement to boast
The Tinsel Rapture worth the Pains it cost.
Consider Strephon soberly of Things
What strange Inquietudes Love always brings,
The foolish Fears, vain Hopes, and Jealousies,
Which still attend upon this fond Disease:
How you must cringe and bow, submit and whine,
Call ev'ry Feature, ev'ry Look, Divine;
Commend each Sentence with an humble Smile,
Tho' Nonsense, swear it is a heavenly Stile.
Servilely rail at all she disapproves,
And as ignobly, flatter all she loves.
Renounce your very Sense, and silent sit,
While she puts off Impertinence for Wit.
Like Setting-Dog new whip'd for springing Game,
You must be made by due Correction tame
But if you can endure the nauseous Rule
Of Woman, do, love on, and be a Fool.
You know the Danger, your own Methods use,
The Good, or Evil's in your pow'r to chuse;
But who'd expect a short, and dubious Bliss
On the declining of a Precipice:
Where if he slips, not Fate it self can save
The falling Wretch from an untimely Grave.
HDIS (Poetry)
48 entries in ESTC for uniform title (1702, 1707, 1710, 1716, 1720, 1724, 1726, 1727, 1731, 1735, 1736, 1740, 1742, 1746, 1742, 1749, 1751, 1753, 1755, 1756, 1759, 1766, 1767, 1773, 1777, 1778, 1780, 1782, 1785, 1790, 1791, 1792, 1794, 1795).

Text from Poems upon Several Occasions. By the Reverend Mr. John Pomfret. The Sixth Edition, Corrected. With Some Account Of his Life and Writings. To which are added, His Remains (London: Printed for D. Brown, J. Walthoe, A. Bettesworth, and E. Taylor, and J. Hooke, 1724).

First published as Miscellany Poems on Several Occasions (London: Printed for John Place at Furnivals-Inn in Holborn, 1702). <Link to ESTC><Link to ECCO>
Date of Entry

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