The mind may be "weak and sickly"

— Gray, Thomas (1716-1771)

Place of Publication
The mind may be "weak and sickly"
Metaphor in Context
I well remember too (for I was present)
When in a secret and dead hour of night,
Due sacrifice performed with barbarous rites
Of muttered charms and solemn invocation,
You bade the Magi call the dreadful powers
That read futurity, to know the fate
Impending o'er your son: their answer was,
If the son reign, the mother perishes.
Perish (you cried) the mother! reign the son!
He reigns, the rest is heaven's; who oft has bade,
Even when its will seemed wrote in lines of blood,
The unthought event disclose a whiter meaning.
Think too how oft in weak and sickly minds
The sweets of kindness lavishly indulged
Rankle to gall; and benefits too great
To be repaid, sit heavy on the soul,
As unrequited wrongs. The willing homage
Of prostrate Rome, the senate's joint applause,
The riches of the earth, the train of pleasures
That wait on youth and arbitrary sway:
These were your gift, and with them you bestowed
The very power he has to be ungrateful.
(ll. 60-81)
Reading Roger Lonsdale's edition of The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, and Oliver Goldsmith (London and New York: Longman and Norton: 1972).
Date of Entry

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