"The thought of death shall, like a god, inspire."

— Young, Edward (bap. 1683, d. 1765)

Place of Publication
R. Dodsley
"The thought of death shall, like a god, inspire."
Metaphor in Context
Lorenzo! no; the thought of death indulge;
Give it its wholesome empire! let it reign,
That kind chastiser of thy soul in joy!
Its reign will spread thy glorious conquests far,
And still the tumults of thy ruffled breast:
Auspicious era! golden days, begin!
The thought of death shall, like a god, inspire.
And why not think on death? Is life the theme
Of every thought, and wish of every hour,
And song of every joy? Surprising truth!
The beaten spaniel's fondness not so strange.
To wave the numerous ills that seize on life
As their own property, their lawful prey;
Ere man has measured half his weary stage,
His luxuries have left him no reserve,
No maiden relishes, unbroach'd delights;
On cold-served repetitions he subsists,
And in the tasteless present chews the past;
Disgusted chews, and scarce can swallow down.
Like lavish ancestors, his earlier years
Have disinherited his future hours,
Which starve on orts, and glean their former field.
(ll. 303-324, p. 81)
Uniform title published in 9 volumes, from 1742 to 1745. At least 133 reprintings after 1745 in ESTC (1747, 1748, 1749, 1750, 1751, 1752, 1755, 1756, 1757, 1758, 1760, 1761, 1762, 1764, 1765, 1766, 1767, 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772, 1773, 1774, 1775, 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, 1780, 1782, 1783, 1785, 1786, 1787, 1788, 1789, 1790, 1791, 1792, 1793, 1794, 1795, 1796, 1797, 1798, 1800).

See Edward Young, Night the Third. Narcissa. Inscribed to her Grace the Dutchess of P------. (London: R. Dodsley, 1742). <Link to ECCO>

Text from The Complete Works, Poetry and Prose, of the Rev. Edward Young, LL.D., 2 vols. (London: William Tegg, 1854). <Link to Google Books> Reading Edward Young, Night Thoughts, ed. Stephen Cornford (New York: Cambridge UP, 1989).
Date of Entry

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