"O, that the wise from their bright minds would kindle / Such lamps within the dome of this dim world, / That the pale name of PRIEST might shrink and dwindle / Into the hell from which it first was hurled, / A scoff of impious pride from fiends impure; / Till human thoughts might kneel alone, / Each before the judgement-throne / Of its own aweless soul, or of the power unknown!"

— Shelley, Percy Bysshe (1792-1822)


Work Title
Place of Publication
London, Bond Street
Publisher
C. and J. Ollier
Date
1820
Metaphor
"O, that the wise from their bright minds would kindle / Such lamps within the dome of this dim world, / That the pale name of PRIEST might shrink and dwindle / Into the hell from which it first was hurled, / A scoff of impious pride from fiends impure; / Till human thoughts might kneel alone, / Each before the judgement-throne / Of its own aweless soul, or of the power unknown!"
Metaphor in Context
O, that the wise from their bright minds would kindle
   Such lamps within the dome of this dim world,
That the pale name of PRIEST might shrink and dwindle
   Into the hell from which it first was hurled,
A scoff of impious pride from fiends impure;
      ¬†Till human thoughts might kneel alone,
      ¬†Each before the judgement-throne
Of its own aweless soul, or of the power unknown!
   Oh, that the words which make the thoughts obscure
     From which they spring, as clouds of glimmering dew
  From a white lake blot Heaven's blue portraiture,
     Were stripped of their thin masks and various hue
And frowns and smiles and splendours not their own,
   Till in the nakedness of false and true
   They stand before their Lord, each to receive its due!
(ll. 226-240)
Provenance
Reading
Citation
Percy Bysshe Shelley, Prometheus Unbound: A Lyrical Drama in Four Acts, with Other Poems (London: C. and J. Ollier, 1820).
Date of Entry
02/05/2010

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