Byron's "powerful voice, with varying tone, / Makes all the empire of the mind thine own"

— Grant [née MacVicar], Anne (1755-1838)

Place of Publication
Printed by James Ballantyne and Co. for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown
Byron's "powerful voice, with varying tone, / Makes all the empire of the mind thine own"
Metaphor in Context
In vain the pious or the moral page,
Rich with the labours of the saint or sage,
Have shed refreshing dews o'er fiery youth,
Or shew'd Prosperity the ways of Truth;
Experience, in her more persuasive strain,
Here echoes back the preacher, "All is vain."
Had Dives, from the dark abodes below,
Broke forth to tell the story of his woe,
With voice of agony his pangs proclaim'd,
And all the horrors of his state explain'd,
No stronger lesson could his brethren see,
Than thine, unhappy Harold, find in thee!
Not all the woes of guilty souls combined,
Exceed thy "leafless desart of the mind."
Say, Thou! whose powerful voice, with varying tone,
Makes all the empire of the mind thine own
Who, binding wild-flowers round thy boyish reed,
Woo'd to the Dee the muses of the Tweed;
Who, lightly scathed by Satire's erring hand,
Hurl'd back with tenfold force a hissing brand,
And bade thy vengeance lighten through the land;
Who paint'st with matchless force, in colours clear,
The vernal glories of the brighter year,
Where ardent suns embrown Hesperia's hills,
And Grecian grots resound to warbling rills;
What magic influence aids thy wondrous lyre,
Or does the Genius of the Land inspire?
Lo! where before our wondering lifted eyes
Majestic Ida's snowy heights arise,
We feel the fair delusion still increase,
Embodying to our sight the gods of Greece.
Her heroes once again in armour shine,
Again her poets pour the strain divine,
At Marathon devoted bands display,
To Ruin point the Persian tyrant's sway,
And shed new splendour o'er Thermopylae.
Say! can'st thou, with the noblest gifts of mind,
Be to the narrow bounds of earth confined?
Let not thy muse extend her potent hand,
To wave the gloomy Sceptic's ebon wand,
That puts fair Faith and bright-eyed Hope to flight,
And bounds our cloudy view with endless night;
Like Polyphemus with destructive might,
Revenging thus thy loss of mental sight.
Searching "empire" and "mind" in HDIS (Poetry)
Date of Entry

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