"The Microcosm, little world, or Man, / Containeth all the outward great world can."

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

Place of Publication
Printed by T. R. for Lodowick Lloyd
"The Microcosm, little world, or Man, / Containeth all the outward great world can."
Metaphor in Context
The Microcosm, little world, or Man,
Containeth all the outward great world can
Is it not strange, and wonderfull that such
A little thing as Man, should hold so much?
Man is a wonder, and Gods image divine,
(If truly Man) within his breast doth shine.
It is not head, arms, body, members fair,
That maketh Man; he rather may compare
Himself unto some beast in painted dress,
Except the inward do him Man express.
What difference is there 'twixt a man and beast,
(None sure at all, or little to be guest)
If't wan't for Reason, and an immortal spark,
Which hides it self within his hollow Ark?
This makes him Man, and like a man to act,
Which gon, he's like a beast in shew and fact.
A man hath sense, he eats, he drinks, he sleeps,
Wallows in pleasure, seldome measure keeps,
Subject to hunger, thirst, to heat, and cold,
Sicknesse, Diseases, and converts to th' Mould
Of which he's fram'd; and like to other creatures,
There perisheth his beauteous forms, and features:
All this the Beast doth; then we thus may say
The fairest Beast is made upright of clay.
Men that we see within the great Creation,
Lie wallowing in all abomination,
In filthy Lusts, contagious pleasures foul,
As if they never, never had a soul,
Are not such Beasts? yea perfect Beasts, or worse,
For Beasts (most commonly) follow natures course,
Their beastial actions, acting in sobriety,
When men fulfil their Lusts in all Impiety,
Acting most beastly in all foul inormity,
And worser then the brutes, in their deformity:
That were it not for this their outward case
In PLUTO'S Court they would usurp a place;
For when the outward body doth consume,
In Hell such take their Hell-prepared room,
Their souls there having some such shape, or hue
Of beasts, whose actions they inclined to,
Assuming there some hideous form, or feature,
Rarely resembling their deformed Nature.
Thus may you see within this outward place,
We're either Men, or Beasts: when here our race
Is run, we shall to the Tartarean den
Go if we beasts are, but to Heav'n if Men.
Man was a Man created, and a King,
And Lord, and Ruler over every thing,
But now that state h'as lost, for which he groans,
Having gain'd dunghils,, for his Crowns, and Thrones.
Now of a King he is a servant made,
Who once immortal, now to Death betray'd:
Therefore behold him pourtrai'd to thine eye,
See where himself, his Crown and Scepter lye,
The Lamb the Type of Innocency too,
(Which LUCIFER with ADAM overthrew)
Under the great and massy Globe of Earth,
As if deprived both of Life, and breath.
This is the fallen state of Man, who must
His Crown not unregarded in the Dust
Permit to lye, but, what some e'r it cost,
Strive for to gain the Scepter that he lost;
And tho he now lyes slain depriv'd of all,
Crush'd with the weight of this terrestrial ball;
Yet shall this fallen Man at last arise,
And o're his now lost Kingdoms Regalize.
O man with joy expect this blisseful day,
Rouze up thy self, enquicken'd with the ray
Of life divine: Shake off this clogging Earth,
And strongly presse after another birth:
For that attained once, thou shalt be then,
As once thou wast, a Lord, and King agen.
Searching 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>
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The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.