"The thorns shoot up! What thorns in every thought! / Why sense of better? It embitters worse."

— Young, Edward (bap. 1683, d. 1765)

Place of Publication
Printed for G. Hawkins
"The thorns shoot up! What thorns in every thought! / Why sense of better? It embitters worse."
Metaphor in Context
"Grief from the future borrow'd peace, ere-while.
"The future vanish'd, and the present pain'd!
"Strange import of unprecedented ill!
"Fall, how profound! Like Lucifer's, the fall!
"Unequal fate: his fall, without his guilt!
"From where fond Hope built her pavilion high,
"The gods among, hurl'd headlong, hurl'd at once
"To night, to nothing! darker still than night.
"If 'twas a dream, why wake me, my worst foe?
"Lorenzo ! boastful of the name of friend!
"O for delusion! O for error still!
"Could vengeance strike much stronger than to plant
"A thinking being in a world like this,
"Not over-rich before, now beggar'd quite,
"More cursed than at the fall?--The sun goes out!
"The thorns shoot up! What thorns in every thought!
"Why sense of better? It embitters worse.

"Why sense? why life, if but to sigh, then sink
"To what I was? Twice nothing! and much woe!
"Woe from Heaven's bounties! woe from what was wont
"To flatter most,--high intellectual powers.
(ll. 653-673, pp. 195-6 in CUP edition)
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).

Edward Young, Night the Seventh. Being the Second Part of the Infidel Reclaimed. Containing the Nature, Proof, and Importance, of Immortality. (London: Printed for G. Hawkins, 1744).

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.