"Reason, blest Goddess! who disdains / Religion's Curbs, and mental Chains."

— Collins, John [called Brush Collins] (1742-1808)

Place of Publication
Publish'd by the Author Himself, and Printed by M. Swinney
"Reason, blest Goddess! who disdains / Religion's Curbs, and mental Chains."
Metaphor in Context
As Chance produces Even and Odd,
Imprimis,--I believe--No God;
From Chance arises Good and Evil,
And therefore,--I believe--No Devil;
Of Gospel Truths let Bigots prate,
But I believe--No future State;
So leave to Sixes and to Sevens,
Angels and Fiends, and Hells and Heavens.
I laugh at Churches built for Pray'r,
Let Reason rear her Temple there;
Reason, blest Goddess! who disdains
Religion's Curbs, and mental Chains
Reason which sets the Mind at Ease,
To think and act as Mortals Please;
Nor fears to forfeit future Bliss,
In Worlds to come, for Joys in this;
Nor teaches future Pains to fear,
For Life's full Swing of Pleasure here;
Pleasure uncheck'd, and unrestrain'd,
No Matter whence or how obtain'd,
By Worth or Merit, Fraud or Force,
All Things in Life must have their Course;
Tygers, as well as Lambs, must live,
Serpents and Doves alike receive
From Nature's Storehouse, Life's Support,
Though One's destroy'd for 'Tother's Sport.
So I, whom Pleasures ne'er can cloy,
Will ne'er rescind one earthly Joy,
While I can 'scape the griping Paw
Of that old Pinch vice, Earthly Law;
Keep clear of Newgate's fatal Drop,
And short of Transportation stop;
The Whipping Post and Pill'ry shun,
And Bailiff's Writ and Suit of Dun.
Ne'er will I, baulk'd of One Delight,
Restrain One luscious Appetite;
Nor heed the Means, to reach the End,
Nor Neighbour spare, nor spare a Friend.
If I his Property can gain,
Be mine the Pleasure, his the Pain;
Or from his Bed seduce his Wife,
His Mis'ry can but last for Life;
The pangs he feels will be so short,
That, Damn all Pity,--"That's your Sort."
All's over, when we're lifeless Logs,
And He and I must die like Dogs.
Then who on Earth would Vigils keep,
Since Death is one eternal Sleep?
Or who would weep, or fast, or pray?
Since Good and Bad, when call'd away,
Are all but kneaded Clods of Clay!
Then, when with Passions fierce I burn,
All future Fears and Hopes I spurn,
But States and Realms I'd overturn,
Nor for the Fall of Millions mourn!
Pleasure be mine at Life's high Flood,
I'd wade through Seas of human Blood;
And mine be Wealth, and Pomp and Pow'r,
I'll laugh in Life's expiring Hour;
To the last Gasp relentless revel,
Nor dread the Name of God or Devil;
But boldly bid the World, Farewell,
Nor fear nor care for Heav'n or Hell!
Searching "mind" and "chain" in HDIS (Poetry)
Date of Entry

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