If death could be bought off, "Almighty Gold should all controul; / I'd bear his Image in my Soul."

— Goodall, Charles (1671-1689)

Place of Publication
Printed for Henry Bonwicke
If death could be bought off, "Almighty Gold should all controul; / I'd bear his Image in my Soul."
Metaphor in Context
Could the Misers heaps of Gold
Flatter Death to quit her hold;
Or would Hell be so content,
To take money for her Rent;
Could a man at any rate,
Bribe inexorable Fate;
Could he get Charon in the mind
To leave his Passenger behind,
When he has once his Earnest paid;
Could this Spirit be ever laid
By all the Magick and the Spells
Of Conjuring Misers in their Cells;
Would Mercury but load himself,
Instead of men, with loads of Pelf;
Cumber up Hell with Bags of Coin;
Could he prevail with Proserpine:
'Twould be a notable Design.
Could all his Wealth and all his Power
Purchase Respit for an hour,
O how I'd scrape and drudge for Ore!
O how I'd ransack Natures Store!
And when I'd done, still crave for more.
I'd drein Pactolus for his Sands,
And wish for Midas Golden Hands:
I'd wash in Tagus to be rich,
Glad to have that Golden Itch.
The World should serve me for a Mine,
To furnish me with Soveraign Coin,
And I would serve at Pluto's Shrine.
Almighty Gold should be my Word,
Almighty Gold should be my Lord:
Almighty Gold should all controul;
I'd bear his Image in my Soul.

By him inspir'd, I'd seek and find
Wealth, the Saviour of Mankind.
For Gold is God, and something more;
His Deity would I adore.
Of my God I'd make a shrine,
And out of that a God-head coin.
I'd dig to Hell, but that I'd get
Enough to pay the common Debt
Of Nature, a Securitie
From all Arrests, and thus set free,
That Hell and I might be at peace,
And Death might grant a longer Lease.
But if it be too hard a Task;
Nay, if it be a sin to ask
The price of a few fleeting days,
To add a furlong to ones Race;
To change one span of life to two,
A single Thread into a Clue;
To hire the Fates to sheath the Knife,
With Gold to purchase longer life:
Why should I by day-time weep,
Or in the night-time break my sleep?
Why should I beat my Breast, complain,
Sigh, and whine, and all in vain?
Melt into Tears, and tear my Hair,
Like one in frenzy or despair?
For if the Fates will so ordain,
That I must die like other men;
Nor have I reason to believe,
From Fate I shou'd my self reprieve:
If I must die, and hence be hurl'd
From this into another World;
What use or pleasure can I have
Of Gold or Silver in the Grave?
They neither revel, buy nor sell,
Nor drink, nor dance, nor love in Hell.
Therefore I hope you will excuse
These Recreations that I use
Rarely, but Natural to my Muse.
Besides, I am not like to meet
A Mistriss in a Winding-Sheet;
Or court a Pretty Maid to Bed
To Grave to me, when I am dead.
Searching "soul" and "gold"in HDIS (Poetry)
Text from Poems and Translations, Written Upon several Occasions, and To several Persons. By a Late Scholar of Eaton (London: Printed for Henry Bonwicke, 1689).
Date of Entry

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