"Virtue resides not in the head, but heart"

— Stevenson, William (1730-1783)

Place of Publication
Printed by A. Donaldson and J. Reid
"Virtue resides not in the head, but heart"
Metaphor in Context
He that a name for virtue would acquire,
Must do far more than merely to admire.
Fools may admire, but none, except the wise,
Know where the duty, or the merit lies;
And knowing, with refinement shar'd by few,
Perform the one and claim the other too.
He that loves Virtue, for pure Virtue's sake,
Would her prefer, though crowns themselves at stake.
Such more respect by one good action pays,
Than who compiles a volume in her praise.
To think, and act well, are two distinct things,
That oft from pride, this but from wisdom springs.
A man, by thinking, oft becomes a fool,
With all the boasted learning of the school;
While he whose thoughts but the bare surface skim,
Is justly styl'd a Socrates to him.
Virtue resides not in the head, but heart,
The man of theory loves her but in part,
Or loves, as men love courtiers, for their place,
As on his ethics she confers a grace.
Not for herself does she his value win,
But for the garb his pride arrays her in.
In the profound of thought he loves to sink,
And pities those that tarry on the brink,
He dives for treasure, but his depth exceeds,
And finds himself involv'd in mire and weeds;
While he, who only walks along the shore,
A diamond spies, or meets with golden ore.
The man, whose life's a transcript of his heart;
Acts both a selfish, and a gen'rous part;
Above the bait of honour and of pelf,
He cheats no mortal, nor deceives himself.
Such Celadon, the gentle and the kind,
His morals faultless, as his taste refin'd.
Him no false lights, no empty theories led
From Virtue's fane, from Wisdom's fountain-head.
By truth's unerring optics still he view'd
The path of life, and viewing it, pursu'd.
Searching in HDIS (Poetry)
At least 2 entries in ESTC (1765).

Original Poems on Several Subjects. In Two Volumes. By William Stevenson (Edinburgh: Printed by A. Donaldson and J. Reid. Sold by Alexander Donaldson, in London and Edinburgh, 1765). <Link to ESTC>
Head and Heart
Date of Entry

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