"O Sacharissa, what could steel thy breast, / To rob the charming Waller of his rest?"

— Cobb, Samuel (bap. 1675, d. 1713)

Place of Publication
Printed for A. Roper ... and R. Basset ... and Sold by Mr. Jefferies
"O Sacharissa, what could steel thy breast, / To rob the charming Waller of his rest?"
Metaphor in Context
O Soul Seraphick, teach us how we may
Thy Praise adapted to thy worth display:
For who can Merit more? or who enough can pay?
Earth was unworthy thy aspiring view,
Sublimer Objects were reserv'd for you.
Thence nothing mean obtrudes on thy design,
Thy Style is equal to thy Theme Divine,
All Heavenly great, and more than Masculine.
Tho' neither Vernal Bloom, nor Summer's Rose
Their opening Beauties could to Thee disclose:
Tho' Nature's curious Characters which we
Exactly view, were all eras'd to Thee.
Yet Heav'n stood Witness to thy piercing Sight;
Below was Darkness, but Above was Light.
Thy Soul was Brightness all; nor could he stay
In lower Night, and such a want of Day:
But wing'd aloft, from sordid Earth retires
To higher Glory, and his kindred Fires;
Like an unhooded Hawk, who loose to prey,
With open Eyes pursues the Ætherial way.
There, happy Soul, assume thy destin'd place,
And in yon Sphere begin thy glorious race:
That Sphere, which Lucifer did once Disgrace.
Or, if amongst the Laurell'd Heads there be,
A Mansion in the Sky reserv'd for Thee;
There, Ruler of thy Orb, aloft appear,
And rowl with Homer in the brightest Sphere.
To whom Calliope has joyn'd thy Name,
And recompenc'd thy Fortunes with his Fame:
Tho' she (forgive our freedom!) some times flows;
In Lines too rugged, and a-kin to Prose.
When Scope is granted to your Speech and Thought,
Verse with a lively smoothness should be Wrote.
Like some fair Planet thy Majestick Song,
Should move with ease and Sparkle as it rowl'd along.
Like Waller's Muse, who, though inchain'd by Rhyme,
Taught Wondring Poets to keep even Chime.
Harmonious Waller's praise inflames my Breast,
Waller, more sweet and Courtly than the rest
Of Poets, no unmanly Turns pursues,
Rash Errors of an injudicious Muse.
Such Wit, like Lightning, for a while looks gay;
Just gilds the place, and vanishes away.
In one continued blaze he upwards sprung,
Like those Seraphick Flames of which he Sung.
If, Cromwell, he laments thy mighty Fall,
Nature attending Weeps at the great Funeral.
Or if his Muse with joyful Triumph brings,
The Monarch to his ancient Throne; or Sings
Batavians worsted on the Conquer'd Main,
Fleets flying, and Advent'rous Opdam Slain;
Then Rome and Athens to his Song repair,
With Brittish Graces Smiling on his care,
Divinely Charming in a Dress so fair.
As Squadrons in well Marshal'd Order fill,
The Flandrian Plains, and speak no vulgar Skill:
So rank'd is every line, each Sentence such,
No Word is wanting, and no Word's too much.
As Pearls in Gold with their own lustre shine,
The Substance precious, and the Work Divine.
So did his Words his beauteous Thoughts enchase,
Both shone and sparkled with unborrow'd Grace,
A mighty value in a little space.
So the Venusian Clio sung of Old,
When lofty acts in well-chose Phrase she told.
But Rome's aspiring Lyrick mov'd us less,
Sung not so moving, tho' with more success.
O Sacharissa, what could steel thy breast,
To rob the charming
Waller of his rest?
To send him murm'ring through the Cypress Grove,
In strains lamenting his Neglected Love.
The attentive Forest did his Grief partake,
And Sympathizing Okes their knotted Branches shake.
Each Nymph, tho' coy, to pity would incline,
And every stubborn Heart was mov'd but Thine.
Hence forth be thou to future Ages known,
Like Niobe, a Monument of Stone.
Searching "breast" and "steel" in HDIS (Poetry)
Date of Entry

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