"Thy mental eye, for thou hast much to view: / Old scenes of glory, times long cast behind / Shall, first recall'd, rush forward to thy mind: / Then stretch thy sight o'er all her rising reign, / And let the past and future fire thy brain."
— Pope, Alexander (1688-1744)
Behold the wonders of th'oblivious Lake.
Thou, yet unborn, hast touch'd this sacred shore;
The hand of Bavius drench'd thee o'er and o'er.
But blind to former as to future fate,
What mortal knows his pre-existent state?
Who knows how long thy transmigrating soul
Might from Boeotian to Boeotian roll?
How many Dutchmen she vouchsaf'd to thrid?
How many stages thro' old Monks she rid?
And all who since, in mild benighted days,
Mix'd the Owl's ivy with the Poet's bays.
As man's Mæanders to the vital spring
Roll all their tides, then back their circles bring;
Or whirligigs, twirl'd round by skilful swain,
Suck the thread in, then yield it out again:
All nonsense thus, of old or modern date,
Shall in thee centre, from thee circulate.
For this our Queen unfolds to vision true
Thy mental eye, for thou hast much to view:
Old scenes of glory, times long cast behind
Shall, first recall'd, rush forward to thy mind:
Then stretch thy sight o'er all her rising reign,
And let the past and future fire thy brain.
Ver. 61, 62. For this our Queen unfolds to vision true
Thy mental eye, for thou hast much to view :]
This has a resemblance to that passage in Milton, book xi. where the Angel
To nobler sights from Adam's eye remov'd
The film; then purg'd with Euphrasie and Rue
The visual nerve --For he had much to see.
There is a general allusion in what follows to that whole Episode.
The Dunciad, in Four Books. Printed According to the Complete Copy Found in the Year 1742. With the Prolegomena of Scriblerus, and Notes Variorum. to Which Are Added, Several Notes Now First Publish'd, the Hypercritics of Aristarchus, and His Dissertation on the Hero of the Poem. (London: Printed for M. Cooper at the Globe in Pater-noster-row, 1743). [2 issues in 1743] <Link to ESTC><Link to ESTC><Link to ECCO>
Reading The Dunciad in Four Books, ed. Valerie Rumbold (New York: Pearson Longman, 2009).