"These be now my Cares, / To leave the Muse for Virtue [...] but chief my Soul to steel / With adamantine Honour"

— Warton, Thomas, the elder (1688-1745)

Place of Publication
Printed for R. Manby and H. S. Cox
"These be now my Cares, / To leave the Muse for Virtue [...] but chief my Soul to steel / With adamantine Honour"
Metaphor in Context
Nunc itaque & Versus & cætera Ludicra pono,
Quod Verum atque Decens curo & rogo & omnis in hôc sum.


an Scenes adieu! in Cyrrha's Vale
No more I wander, where with loose-rob'd Nymphs
an and Sylvanus play'd, while on their Heads
The laughing Hours rain'd Roses; while to guide
Their nimble Feet great Phoebus came and touch'd,
His soul-bewitching Lyre: No more I sit
On murmuring Aganippe's mossy Brink
And wait inspiring Dreams; nor Garlands weave
Of sweet Parnassian Flowers for Clio's Head;
Nor seek the solemn Grott where Homer first
Conceiv'd his mighty Scheme; from whence to catch
One Beam swift-darted from his boundless Mind.
My serious Soul these Woods and Walks disdains
Where my Youth rov'd: A loftier Task demands
My sober Hours, (that on swift Pinions hast
To meet Eternity) to purge my Breast
From Error's Poisons; equally to poise
The jarring Passions; to subdue the Thirst
Of Fame and fond Ambition; to destroy
The bitter Seeds of Envy:--Not to smooth
The tuneful Cadence of a polisht Line,
But harmonize my Soul; whence I may hear,
With Raptures hear, the Moral Melody,
A peaceful Conscience yields, beyond the Strains
Of Attic Harp, sweet as the Midnight Song
Of warbling Seraphs, winged Warriors bright,
To happy, watchful Shepherds, on the Birth
Of great Messiah!--These be now my Cares,
To leave the Muse for Virtue; to improve
The Heart, not deck the Head with fading Crown
Of useless Bays; but chief my Soul to steel
With adamantine Honour
, to withstand
Corruption's Tides, while courtly Millions run
To the black Pagod of all-worship'd Vice
To offer Freedom, Conscience, Body, Soul:
To be tho' single, constant; and to feel
The Bliss of Independence;--these are Toils
Worthy a Man and Briton.--Who can search
For tinkling Rhymes, when frowning Virtue points
To swift-wing'd Time?--At Close of Evening cool
What hasty Pilgrim, who long, pathless Wilds
Must traverse e'er black Night descend, would stop
And sit beneath the branching Beech to hear
The sweet Songs of thick-warbling Philomel,
Tho' ev'ry moving Trill be steep'd in Tears.
Searching "soul" and "steel" in HDIS (Poetry)
Date of Entry

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