"This Truth once stated, and the Soul, 'tis plain, Much on the filmy Texture of the Brain, / Much on Formations that escape our Eyes, / On nice Connections, and Coherencies, / And on corporeal Organs must depend, / For her own Function's Exercise, and End"
— Hawkins, William (1721-1801)
Say, what is Genius but the Soul of Man?
Beam of that Light which animates our Frame,
Alike in many, but in none the same.
'Tis with our Minds, as with our Bodies, none
In Essence differ, yet each knows his own.
Marks of specific Character we see,
That stamp on ev'ry Mortal, THIS IS HE.
Nor varies more our present outward Shape,
(This Man half-Angel, and the next half-Ape)
Than do the mental Pow'rs: What Odds we find
Between a --'s, and a Newton's Mind?
Ask you the Cause? First take it for a Rule,
Whate'er the Man, the Soul is not a Fool.
She came in due Perfection from the Skies,
And all Defect in grosser Body lies.
Body and Soul at best but ill agree,
'Tis Spirit wedded to Infirmity:
A disporportion'd Match, from whence proceeds
The Soul's Inaction thro' the Body's Needs.
This Truth once stated, and the Soul, 'tis plain,
Much on the filmy Texture of the Brain,
Much on Formations that escape our Eyes,
On nice Connections, and Coherencies,
And on corporeal Organs must depend,
For her own Function's Exercise, and End.
Hence then the Cause of all Defects is seen,
For one wrong Movement spoils the whole Machine.
'Tis hence the sev'ral Passions take their Rise,
The Seeds of Virtue, and the Roots of Vice;
Hence Notes peculiar or to Young, or Old,
Phlegmatic, sanguine, amorous, or cold!
And hence from Constitution, such or such,
Wit may take Modes, and Genius op'rate much.
The youthful Bard, a sprightly, sanguine Swain,
Like Ovid warbles in a Lovesick strain:
With weaker Passions, but with Sense more strong,
The melancholy Young pursues his Song.
Mixture of Humours motley Genius shews;
'Tis seen methinks in Hervey's dancing Prose.
Why wonder then to mark the Sons of Rhyme,
Gay, serious, turgid, easy, or sublime?
The Soul and Body closely thus allied,
Vile is the Folly, as the Sin of Pride;
And one great Truth the first of Men will sit,
That Nothing more precarious is than Wit.
See also William Hawkins, Poems on Various Subjects: By William Hawkins (Oxford: Printed by W. Jackson: sold by J. Dodsley; Mess. Rivingtons; and W. Owen, London; J. and J. Fletcher, and S. Parker, in Oxford, 1781). <Link to ECCO-TCP>