"And yet methinks a Beam of Light breaks in / On my departing Soul."

— Addison, Joseph (1672-1719)

Work Title
Place of Publication
Printed for J. Tonson
"And yet methinks a Beam of Light breaks in / On my departing Soul."
Metaphor in Context
Here set me down--
Portius come near me--are my Friends embark'd?
Can any thing be thought of for their Service?
Whilst I yet live, let me not live in vain.
--O Lucius, art thou here?--Thou art too good!--
Let this our Friendship live between our Children;
Make Portius happy in thy Daughter Lucia.
Alas poor Man, he weeps!-- Marcia, my Daughter--
--O bend me forward!-- Juba loves thee, Marcia.
A Senator of Rome, while Rome survived,
Wou'd not have match'd his Daughter with a King,
But Caesar's Arms have thrown down all Distinction;
Whoe'er is Brave and Virtuous, is a Roman --
--I'm sick to Death--O when shall I get loose
From this vain World, th'Abode of Guilt and Sorrow!--
--And yet methinks a Beam of Light breaks in
On my departing Soul.
Alas, I fear
I've been too hasty. O ye Pow'rs, that search
The Heart of Man, and weigh his inmost Thoughts,
If I have done amiss, impute it not!--
The best may Erre, but you are Good, and--oh!
(V.i, pp. 61-62)
C-H Lion
First performed April, 1713; 8 editions that year. Over one 120 entries in the ESTC (1713, 1716, 1718, 1721, 1722, 1725, 1726, 1728, 1730, 1732, 1733, 1734, 1735, 1736, 1737, 1739, 1744, 1745, 1746, 1748, 1749, 1750, 1752, 1753, 1754, 1755, 1756, 1757, 1758, 1761, 1763, 1764, 1765, 1767, 1768, 1769, 1770, 1772, 1773, 1774, 1775, 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, 1783, 1784, 1785, 1786, 1787, 1789, 1790, 1791, 1793, 1795, 1799, 1800).

See Cato. A Tragedy. As it is Acted at the Theatre-Royal in Drury-Lane, By Her Majesty's Servants. By Mr. Addison. (London: Printed for J. Tonson, 1713). <Link to ECCO-TCP> <Link to Google Books>

Reading also Cato: A Tragedy and Selected Essays, ed. by Christine Dunn Henderson and Mark E. Yellin, with a Foreword by Forrest McDonald (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2004).
Date of Entry

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