"Then is the Soul fit to be wrought upon, / And to receive Heav'ns seal's impression."

— Pordage, Samuel (bap. 1633, d. c. 1691)

Place of Publication
Printed by T. R. for Lodowick Lloyd
"Then is the Soul fit to be wrought upon, / And to receive Heav'ns seal's impression."
Metaphor in Context
Not far from thence his hasty steps did move
Under the shadow of a silent Grove:
The place was sacred to a Deity,
Who with still silence would adored be.
No babling Echo in that Grove did dwell:
No whistling Blackbird, no sweet Nightingal,
No Bird at all came near those sacred boughs;
The grasse, nor bleating Sheep, nor mowing Cows
Did feed; no living Creature did that blest
Place enter, to disturb its quiet rest.
No pibble, chiding-Brook ran murmering there,
No Wind to move those silent Leaves did dare:
About the middle of this silent place,
Pitch'd on a mossie Hill a Couch there was;
To this the Pilgrim went, and gently hurl'd
Himself on it; As if another World
He enter'd had, he found himself; a rest
Seiz'd on his working mind; both bad, and best
Thoughts banish'd were; disturbing fancy, or
Imagination did not there discur.
Asleep he was not, nor yet did he dream:
Alive he was, but yet he dead did seem.
His mind work'd not on this, nor that: but he
Rap'd was into a heav'nly Lethargy.
This is the Silent passive state in which
God with his Finger Souls doth often touch:
This is the sleep of Jacob, this the Trance
Of Paul, when he did to the Heav'ns advance:
This is the state, in which the Soul's blest tye
Sees God (beyond Thoughts) Intellectually.
This is the state in which SOPHIA will
Souls (emptied thus) with her blest Spirit fill.
Then is the Soul made fit for to receive
Those Bounties, which Heav'ns blessed Hand doth give.
For whilst thoughts do her empty vessels fill,
Receive she cann't Heav'ns higher Bounties well.
A Cup fill'd to the brim can hold no more:
Nor stomachs meat desire, if full before.
Then is the Soul fit to be wrought upon,
And to receive Heav'ns seal's impression.

What in this state she doth or hear, or see,
Must needs be true; she cann't deceived be.
Unutterable were those Sweets, which here
Our Pilgrim felt; before his eyes appear
The Beauties of the inner Worlds, and on
His Soul divine irradiation
Is pour'd: and now his soul with Constant eye
Beholds true glances of Æternity.
Pens are too weak for to expresse the Blisse
Which in this silent state enjoyed is.
Thunders, and Whirlwinds are not Heav'ns choyce;
He softly whispers in a silent Voyce.
The Souls eares then are eyes; what Heav'n then shows
The Soul both hears, sees, feels, and truly knows.
Deep is the sight when that no thoughts controul,
For Heav'n then gives eyes to the passive Soul,
Past reach of Reason then she flyes, and there
With a new Light sees demonstration clear.
Searching "soul" and "seal" in HDIS (Poetry)
Samuel Pordage, Mundorum Explicatio Wherein are Couched the Mysteries of the External, Internal, and Eternal worlds (London: T.R. for Lodowick Lloyd, 1661). <Link to EEBO>
Date of Entry

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