"Look in my face; and, could my heart lie bare, / The Father would be seen engraven there"

— Jeffreys, George (1678-1755)

Place of Publication
Printed for the Author
"Look in my face; and, could my heart lie bare, / The Father would be seen engraven there"
Metaphor in Context
He spoke: Apollo laid his beams aside,
Bad him approach, embrac'd him, and reply'd;
Nor need I blush a Son like thee to own;
Nor is thy birth from Clymene unknown.
To ease thy doubt, by sacred Styx I swear,
The lake by me unseen, to grant whate'er
Thou shalt request. The Youth, without delay,
Requests his Chariot for a single day.
His radiant temples thrice Apollo shook,
And would, too late, his hasty oath revoke:
O! might I but revoke it! this alone,
(He said) this grant I would deny my Son:
But what I can't deny, I may dissuade;
A choice too dang'rous, and too rashly made.
Thy fond desire will prove thy certain fate,
And crush thy feeble youth beneath its weight.
Mortal thy lot, not so is thy design
To undertake what e'en the Gods decline;
Unknowing what befits thee. I the rein
Alone can manage, and the seat maintain:
Nor can the Thunderer, who rules above,
This chariot guide; yet who so great as Jove?
With pain my coursers climb the morning way,
And often from the height of middle day
With terror I the land and sea survey.
But headlong is my ev'ning course, and needs
A steady hand, to curb the fiery steeds.
Ev'n Tethys fears, lest a descent too steep
Precipitate me to her subject Deep.
Add, that the sky in rapid rounds is roll'd,
With stars by its diurnal whirl controul'd.
Against it, struggling hard, I drive the day,
And stem the tide that bears the rest away.
Could you the chariot, if I gave it, steer
With steady hands athwart the circling sphere?
Perhaps you may expect delightful woods,
Rich temples there, and palaces of Gods.
Your charge thro' snares and monsters must you force;
Or should you chance to hit the doubtful course,
The horns of Taurus shall your way oppose:
The savage Lion, and th' Hæmonian Bows;
The Scorpion's Claws, and Cancer's, that embrace
An ample those, and these a scantier space.
Nor have you strength the Coursers flaming rage,
Breath'd from the chest, mouth, nostrils, to assuage.
Ev'n I their ardour scarcely can restrain,
When with rebellious necks they stretch the rein:
But you, lest I a fatal Present give,
Ere 'tis too late, retract your wish, and live.
To vouch your parentage, you ask a sign;
I give it, in the fear that speaks you mine.
Look in my face; and, could my heart lie bare,
The Father would be seen engraven there.

For further proof look round you, and survey
The blessings, heav'n, and earth, and sea, display,
And any one is yours; the curse you chuse,
Miscall'd a blessing, I would fain refuse.
Nay, hang not on my neck, mistaken Youth,
As if you question'd my unfailing truth:
My oath is sacred, for Styx heard my voice:
Chuse as you please; but make a wiser choice.
Apollo spoke, and vainly ended here.
His daring Son, decreed to persevere,
Was slowly by his ling'ring Father brought,
To mount the car, which Vulcan's art had wrought:
Of gold its axle, and its beam was made,
And gold the wheels circumference display'd;
The spokes were silver, and with jewels bright
The seat of Phoebus flash'd reflected light.
The Youth's admiring eyes the work survey;
When, on the watch to usher in the day,
Aurora open'd wide her purple door,
And scatter'd roses on her orient floor.
Before her vanish night's inferior fires,
Pursu'd by Lucifer, who last retires.
When Phoebus now beheld the op'ning morn,
And fading Cynthia shone with blunted horn,
He bad the nimble Hours his steeds array;
His high command the nimble Hours obey.
The gen'rous steeds, with rich Ambrosia fed,
And snorting flame, from their high stalls they led,
And fit the sounding harness. Then the Sire,
To guard his Offspring from the rapid fire,
A sacred ointment for his visage mix'd,
And on his head the beamy circle fix'd.
With sighs repeated heav'd his anxious breast,
Which its foreboding sorrow thus express'd;
Searching "heart" and "engrav" in HDIS (Poetry)
Miscellanies, in Verse and Prose. By George Jeffreys (London: Printed for the Author, 1754). <Link to ECCO>
Date of Entry

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