One may "write the counsels of my heart" so "That they may be engrav'd on" another's heart

— Combe, William (1742 -1823)

Place of Publication
Published by R. Ackerman [etc.]
One may "write the counsels of my heart" so "That they may be engrav'd on" another's heart
Metaphor in Context
"E'er you this sacred gift receive
"Your Father will have ceas'd to live:
"I'm hast'ning fast unto the Bourn
"From which no Trav'ler can return:
"But e'er I to the Tomb depart,
"I write the counsels of my heart,
"And my last prayer devotion pours,
"That they may be engrav'd on your's.
"--Instructions sage refine the soul
"Conveying inward, as they roll,
"Impulse to Virtue, and impart
"What guides the mind and forms the heart.
"When morals fail, what stains disgrace
"The honours of the noblest race;
"For what are laws unless obey'd
"By the same virtues they were made.
"When Life is view'd with all its cares,
"When we feel what our nature shares,
"The truth strikes home upon the mind,
"That happiness is not design'd
"For this uncertain, transient state:
"Man should be good, and may be great;
"But perfect joy is only given
"To be the inhabitant of Heaven.
"What pleasures does the world hold forth?
"What is the gawdy nonsense worth,
"Which Fashion and gay Fortune weave
"The idle moments to deceive!
"What is it but a meteor's blaze
"That onward darts, and never stays?
"A vapour, rising in the air,
"And soon is lost dissolving there;--
"A bubble, swelling in the stream,
"That bursts while glitt'ring in the beam;--
"A spider's web, that treach'rous snare,
"Which e'en the slightest touch will tear!
"--In Spring, cold Winter melts away;
"The Spring is lost in Summer's ray:
"The Summer wastes in Autumn's reign,
"And hoary Winter comes again.
"The Moon renews her borrow'd light,
"And when Life's day sinks into night,
"Where all the rich, the great are laid
"We're nought but ashes and a shade[1]:
"To Time all mortal things must bow--
"Henry will be what I am now.
"Your cheeks e'er hollow wrinkles seize,
"E'er their bright, rosy bloom decays,
"While youth yet rolls its vital flood,
"Learn to be virtuous--to be good.
"He is most happy, who can say
"To Virtue, I have liv'd to-day,
"And then, to baffle future sorrow,
"Resolves to live the same to-morrow.
"--Rest not on happiness below,
"For Man must have his share of woe:
"His lot distinct from brutes appears
"Less by his laughter than his tears.
"The famous Fabulist of old,
"Who so much wisdom did unfold,
"That lively, gay, instructor sage,
"Who held a glass for every age,
"Has said, in his fictitious way,
"That when Prometheus mix'd the clay
"To make the human form appear,
"He moisten'd it with many a tear.
"But Heaven is ever just and wise
"In all man's checquer'd destinies.
"Though Virtue's steps may lead to pain,
"And vexing Fortune's fretful reign;
"Yet, though she moves 'mid scenes of woe,
"Amid the thorns the roses blow,
"Which, when the wintry sorrow's past,
"Will still in bloom and beauty last.
"--With wisdom then thy heart relieve
"Whene'er that heart finds cause to grieve;
"With wisdom drawn from sacred lore
"And sages fam'd in days of yore.
"Nor seek the letter'd page alone;
"By calming many a bitter moan
"In other breasts, appease your own.
"With pleasure, by good sense refin'd,
"Unbend the labours of the mind.
"Without enthusiastic zeal,
"Let piety its deeds reveal:
"Let your devotion pure belie
"Each symptom of hypocrisy:
"From Charity let offerings flow
"Without a wish the poor should know
"The hand that does the boon bestow.
"Humility, in every state,
"Will make us good, will make us great;
"For real greatness does not spring
"From titles vain or earthly thing:
"By Virtue's power alone is given
"The true Nobility of Heaven.
"--Contentment, to our lot confin'd,
"Is the true wisdom of the mind;
"And when our passions are subdu'd,
"Truth will aver that we are good.
"--Shun Gaming, that most odious vice:
"Trust not to cards;--detest the dice:
"Look at your woods that crown the glade,
"In the proud stateliness of shade:
"By one unlucky, treacherous main
"They may lie prostrate on the plain.
"--Turn from the Syren's painted joy
"That only tempts thee to destroy:
"Health, Honour, Virtue, Fortune fly
"Where she displays her Sorcery.
Searching "soul" and "engrav" in HDIS (Poetry)
Date of Entry

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