"I their rude, inbred Cruelty refin'd, / And stampt my perfect Image on their Mind."

— Blackmore, Sir Richard (1654-1729)

Place of Publication
Printed for Awnsham and John Churchil
"I their rude, inbred Cruelty refin'd, / And stampt my perfect Image on their Mind."
Metaphor in Context
Then thus the Fury Persecution spake:
I mighty Prince of Hell, will undertake
This glorious Work, I quickly will inspire
Hoel, with my ungovernable Fire.
Without remorse he shall my Will Obey,
And crush this Briton, now his easy Prey.
Nero by me rais'd his illustrious Name,
And Dioclesian got Immortal Fame.
I their rude, inbred Cruelty refin'd,
And stampt my perfect Image on their Mind.

My flames all Love's course mixture did destroy,
And purg'd off soft Compassion's base alloy;
I form'd and dissiplin'd their untaught Hate,
And rais'd their fierceness to a perfect State:
Where shame, and all reflecting Sense is lost,
And Hell can't purer strains of Malice boast.
Inexorable they all Cries withstood,
Ravish'd with Slaughter, and regal'd with Blood.
Hard marble Rocks might with more ease relent,
And Fire and Plague learn sooner to repent.
Then Christian Kings my Fury entertain'd,
And taught by me, in Blood and Slaughter reign'd.
With pious Rage and fierce destructive Zeal,
I first inspir'd their Minds, and did reveal
The mystery, how deep Revenge to take,
And slay the Servants for the Masters sake.
How bloody Wrath might with Devotion joyn,
And sacred Zeal with Cruelty combine.
By me the unknown way they understood,
T'attone the Christian's God with Christian Blood.
By me they shook off Fear's and Love's Restraints;
And on God's Altars burnt his slaughter'd Saints.
I made them call, that all Remorse might cease,
Murder Compassion, Desolation Peace.
Whilst my infernal Heats their Breasts inspir'd,
To the vile Sect their own mad Zeal acquir'd,
Wider Destruction, and more fatal Harms,
Then all your Scythian, or your Gothick Arms:
And Rome, proud Rome her self must owe to me
Her present State, and future Dignity.
The greatest Genius this, I e'er could find,
And to receive my Image best inclin'd.
I will her Mind inspire, and to her Heart
Immortal hate, to Abel's Race impart.
These Breasts she empties with her Infant Jaws,
I file her Teeth, and shape her tender Claws.
I Nurse her on the horrid Alps high Tops,
And feed her hunger with Cerberean Sops
Dipt in Tartarean Gall, and Hemlock Juice,
That in her Veins will noble Blood produce.
Fierce Tygers, Dragons, Wolves about her stay,
They grin, and snap, and bite, and snarling play.
I to her Jaws, throw Infants newly Born;
She sucks their Blood, and by her Teeth are torn
Their tender Limbs, while I rejoyce to see
Such noble Proofs of growing Cruelty.
To her wide Breast, and vast capacious Soul,
I often Torrents of black Poison rowl:
She drinks the livid Flood, and thro her Veins
Mad Fury runs, and wild Distraction reigns.
I'll lead her from the Rocks, her Strength full grown,
Fix her high Seat in the imperial Town,
And give her Scarlet, and a threefold Crown.
No Blood will then her mighty Thirst asswage,
No Ravage cloy her Antichristian Rage.
Her mitred Sons that never can relent,
From the great Cain shall prove their high Descent.
Their Deeds of strange infernal Cruelty,
Shall shew their Race worthy of Him and me.
Lay-Bigots, I with Time and Labour wrought,
Some inward Grudgings still against me fought:
'Twas hard to raise their hate to a degree,
From struggling Nature, and all Pity free.
But these Church-Zealots, of a truer Breed,
Are form'd with Ease, and scarce my Labour need.
Their forward Genius without teaching grows,
And all my hopes, and ev'n my Wish out-does.
How often shall thy Glorious Sons, O Rome,
With Martyrs Flames inlighten Christendom?
How often shall they, to deride their God,
Lift up in Prayer, their Hands all full of Blood?
The wasted World shall feel their loud Alarms,
Their blest Massacres, and their hallowed Arms.
As if their high intent were to Efface,
All Foot-steps left of Abel's hateful Race.
Bloody Tribunals, Rapine, Fire and Sword,
And Desolation, daily Sport afford.
Mankind they shall with such dire Plagues attack,
As will their Church a holy Desart make.
Such is my Zeal to serve th' Infernal State,
And shall this British Prince escape my Hate?
Forbid it Hell, and here she made a pause;
The Lords in Council gave a loud Applause.
The Prince of Darkness leaping from his Place,
Did in his Arms, his darling Fiend embrace:
Her Anger then rose higher, and all Hell
Uneasie seem'd, she grew so terrible.
Searching "stamp" and "mind" in HDIS (Poetry)
Text from Richard Blackmore. Prince Arthur. An Heroick Poem. (London: Printed for Awnsham and John Churchil, 1695). <Link to EEBO-TCP>

Six entries in ESTC. A popular work: third edition in 1697.
Date of Entry

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