"Minds are never to be sold"

— Cowper, William (1731-1800)

Place of Publication
June, 1788
"Minds are never to be sold"
Metaphor in Context
Forced from home and all its pleasures,
  Afric's coast I left forlorn,
To increase the stranger's treasures,
  O'er the raging billows borne.
Men from England bought and sold me,
  Paid my price in paltry gold;
But, though slave they have enroll'd me,
 Minds are never to be sold.
(ll. 1-8, p. 13)
Searching HDIS (Poetry); variant in Stuart's Star: "But tho' theirs they have enroll'd me"
At least 19 entries in ECCO and ESTC (1788, 1789, 1790, 1791, 1793, 1795, 1796, 1798, 1799, 1800).

Originally appeared in the London General Magazine, ed. T. Bellamy II (June 1788), 323-4. See also "The Negro's Complaint" Stuart's Star, and Evening Advertiser, No. 43 (Thursday, April 2, 1789). <Link to Burney Collection>

Also See Poems by William Cowper, of the Inner Temple, Esq. In Two Volumes. (London: Printed for J. Johnson, St. Paul's Church-Yard, 1798), 1:331-3.<Link to ECCO>

Text from Cowper, William, The Poems of William Cowper, 3 vols, Ed. John D. Baird and Charles Ryskamp (Oxford: Oxford UP: 1980), III.
Date of Entry

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