"Ah! I may preach untill my heart doth ake, / And it on thee will no Impression make."

— Keach, Benjamin (1640-1704)

Place of Publication
Printed for J. D. by Christopher Hussey [etc.]
"Ah! I may preach untill my heart doth ake, / And it on thee will no Impression make."
Metaphor in Context
Hark, trembling Soul! thou to the Bar art cited,
And for high Treason there dost stand Indicted,
Committed by thee 'twas in antient time,
When thou didst dwell in Eden, in thy prime:
When thou hadst flourisht there but a short season,
Thou didst contract that guilt of horrid Treason
Against thy Soveraign, in whose Princely Eye
Was Grace and favour mixt with Majesty:
Gracious to pardon many great Offences,
And yet severe to punish Insolences.
But thou both Grace and Justice didst despise,
And in thy Heart didst evil things surmise
Against thy Soveraign Lord, and secretly
Join'st with his Foes in close Conspiracy.
'Twas with the King of Darkness thou didst close,
Obeyd'st his will, and didst thy God oppose.
A dreadful Sentence then against thee past,
Which ne're by humane Art could be reverst.
Thy Sentence was in Prison long to lie,
And for thy fact at last Condemn'd to die.
And Death on thee did seize the self-same time,
When thou commitst that high and fearful Crime;
The sad effects of it I this Day see,
Thou still ly'st dead in thine Iniquity.
Ah! I may preach untill my heart doth ake,
And it on thee will no Impression make.

Thou art depriv'd of Life and Light of God,
And long hast thou in this estate abode.
But a worse Death doth in thy Sentence lie,
(Though very few on it will cast an Eye)
Condemn'd to suffer everlasting pains,
And on thee then were fastned heavy Chains.
And though thy Execution be delay'd,
Yet 'tis by means of Jesus only stay'd.
His precious Grace preserves thee from that fire,
Whose torments once begun, shall ne'r expire.
That Soul-amazing Sentence who can bear
The thoughts of it, and not let fall a tear?
What Malefactors are Condemn'd to die,
But on the sense of Death's approaching nigh,
Contracts not horrour on their Souls thereby?
What then to suffer Death for evermore,
Where Torments ne're abate, nor will be o're?
To be a thousand tedious Ages Rackt,
Not Dead, yet always in the dying Act.
A fiery Furnace with a sevenfold heat
We read of, yet its flames were not so great,
But that they soon would languish and grow cold;
Whereas these Tortures, still increasing, hold.
If e're thou shouldst be cast into that place,
Before thou dost take hold of Love and Grace,
There's this will then thy sorrows aggravate,
None will thee pity in that wretched state.
Never was Malefactor in distress,
But met with pity either more or less;
And though it do not take away the grief,
Yet where there's pity, there's some small Relief.
But if thou dost this fearful Sentence bear,
There's none to pity, none to shed a tear.
O think of this, alas! thy wretched Eyes
Are blinded now, thou basely dost despise
The best of Comfort, Joy and Consolation,
For love to Sin, horrid Abomination!
Thou swell'st in pride, unmindful of thine end,
And seest no need of comfort from a Friend:
But what wouldst thou for such a Friend then give,
And for those Comforts thou mayst now receive?
Dost not thou tremble at this frightful news?
Tremble at least at that which next ensues.
Three things there are, three Circumstances great,
Which much thy final woe will aggravate:
Which severally unto thee I'le relate,
That thou mayst think upon thy future state.
First, from thy high Descent thy birth did crown
Thee with the greatest Honour and Renown,
That ever any had upon the Earth,
Thou being own'd a Soveraign Queen by Birth.
Yet that which did so much advance thy fame,
Was not alone the Honour of thy Name,
As the rare properties of thy sweet Nature,
A most transcendent and accomplisht Creature;
An Heav'n-composed frame, as if thou'dst bin
Deriv'd from some Celestial Seraphim.
When great Jehovah's fruitful Word had made
The whole Creation, touching thee, he said,
This Creature shall alone our Image bear,
Whom all things else shall reverence and fear;
Our Sacred Portraiture we solely place,
In this sweet Creatures Heaven-erected face.
And when he sent his first-begotten down,
No other form or Image must he own.
The Angels Nature wholly he refuses,
And rather Humane Soul and flesh he chuses.
Alas! there's not a greater aggravation,
Than for a person of the highest station
To be thrown down into the deep'st Abyss
Of woe and sorrow! oh! how sad is this?
Thy self caus'd change a miserable Creature,
Will surely make thy Torments far the greater.
Searching "impression" and "heart" HDIS (Poetry)
Date of Entry

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