From "the council of the common Sense" a message "As quick returns: for words are instantly / Dispatch'd in answer"

— Clark, William (fl. 1663-1685)

Place of Publication
Printed by the Heir of Andrew Anderson
From "the council of the common Sense" a message "As quick returns: for words are instantly / Dispatch'd in answer"
Metaphor in Context
For lets observe but, who did frame the Ear,
And for what use: why it will soon appear
If once we speak: for then articulate,
And distinct words entring that narrow Gate;
Through the Ears winding Turnpikes progress make,
And are conducted to the Intellect,
In decent order, have quick audience,
And from the council of the common Sense,
As quick returns: for words are instantly
Dispatch'd in answer
: twinkling of an eye,
Th'ears of both speakers do these words convey.
T'each others judgements i'th' same form, and way.
Let us observe then, how this useful sense,
By special licence from high providence,
Enjoys its place, and faculty, nor are
Those many towrs, and windings in the ear,
There to no purpose, since experience
Demonstrats every day their excellence.
For, as we see in Princes Pallaces,
How all the avenues, and passages
Are strictly guarded, to oppose the rude
Tumultuous entries of the Multitude:
Whilst civil persons, who have business,
Pass through the Guards, and dayly make address
To th'Princes ear: so all the Guards o'th' brain
To civil courteous words do make a Lane,
Which passing forward to the Intellect,
Are there receiv'd with kindness, and respect.
But, if in throngs, and with a hideous shout,
They chance to make approach, to keep such out,
The Drum o'th' Ear doth quickly beat to Arms,
Yet by the frequent use of such allarms,
Those Guards are oft-times overcome, and thence
Men lose the use of that most useful sense.
That useful sense, to which indeed we owe,
The greatest part of what we learn, or know,
So that were't even but in that curious sense,
We may admire the work of Providence.
Observe the Mouth too, how it tastes the Meat,
To try if it be wholesome, sowr, or sweet,
Ere to the Stomach, whether it doth tend,
It can have access, that it may defend,
The Body from all Food, that's destructive,
To health, and make its charge securely live.
Now from such topicks, though there were no moe,
Who may not soon, th'Almighties Glory know?
Forbear then all your arguing, pray forbear
And let's no more of your vain Lectures hear
Upon this subject, since no art can show
The full extent of what we only know,
From such external signs, for what indeed
The Power of God is, whence all things proceed,
Which here we see: how things are regulate
In Heavens, and Earth: how he did Fabricate
This vast stupendious Globe, which still the more
We view, the more the Framer we adore
Is what exceeds our reach.
William Clark, The Grand Tryal: or, Poetical Exercitations upon the Book of Job. Wherein, Suitable to Each Text of that Sacred Book, a Modest Explanation, and Continuation of the Several Discourses contained in it, is Attempted by William Clark (Edinburgh: Andrew Anderson, 1685). <Link to EEBO-TCP>
Date of Entry

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