An infant soul must be lifted to Jehovah's throne because "[T]he ductile mind, / Pliant as wax, shall wear the mould you give"

— Yearsley, Ann (bap. 1753, d. 1806)

Place of Publication
Printed For T. Cadell
An infant soul must be lifted to Jehovah's throne because "[T]he ductile mind, / Pliant as wax, shall wear the mould you give"
Metaphor in Context
Vain were the hope to save a ruin'd world!
Ev'n Jesu's sufferings ne'er convinc'd the whole;
Then shall an atom the fix'd axis move,
And win a world from hell? Thou greatly dar'st,
Yet limited thy power; stand forth, ye few!
You who wou'd give a lustre to your name,
And prove the grand impression of Jehovah;
Who weep, like R---, the glory of your God,
Defac'd, demolish'd, beauty trod in dust;
Leave not the wreck deserted on the beach,
Where Ignorance, Vice, and loud-mouth'd Reprobation,
Exulting yell, and wring the melting soul:
O! freeze, to hear the hoary-headed sinner,
With ceaseless profanation, taint the air;
Grown old in dark stupidity, he treads,
Fearless, tho' feeble; on the verge of fate
Sin leaves him not; and innate flames of vice
Still fiercely burn; the fact exists in will:
The last remain of life presents a gloom
Which frights the shrinking soul; lo! back she starts,
Struck with dire horror, loth to hear the sound,
The dreadful summons of offended Heaven--
She lingers--the strong blast to atoms rends
The frame which held her.--O! ye better souls,
Ye nobler few, who slumber in your race,
Tho' well begun, and forwarded with hope,
Say, will you see a fellow-spirit lost,
Thus swallow'd in the ever-yawning gulf,
That frights the mental eye, and e'en appals
The man who firmest stands, nor lend your aid
To save him, as a soul once meant for Heaven?
O, think! the coming hour will soon be yours;
Let not a form which bears your Maker's image
Defeat the end of being: know 'tis yours,
In heavenly tints to dip the infant soul;
To raise the new idea, lift it high,
Ev'n to Jehovah's Throne: the ductile mind,
Pliant as wax, shall wear the mould you give
Sharp Gratitude you've call'd to life, shall cut,
In cyphers deep, the now expanded heart;
And, ev'n beyond the chambers of the grave,
The joyous spirit shall your records bear,
To meet your eyes when trembling worlds expire.
What then shall live, or stand in that dread hour,
But acts like these, when panting spirits call
For every little test to aid their plea?
May yours resound, supported in the blast
By grateful Infants, and by ripen'd Man,
To whom you gave perfection. Angels smile,
And songs of glory shake the vault of Heaven.
Searching in HDIS (Poetry)
At least 4 entries in ESTC (1785, 1786).

See Poems, on Several Occasions. By Ann Yearsley, a Milkwoman of Bristol., 2nd edition (London: Printed for T. Cadell, in the Strand, 1785). <Link to ESTC><Link to LION>
Date of Entry

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