Man's mind like his "outward form" charmed the eyes of the "wondering herd"

— Dryden, John (1631-1700)

Place of Publication
Man's mind like his "outward form" charmed the eyes of the "wondering herd"
Metaphor in Context
One portion of informing fire was given
To brutes, the inferior family of heaven.
The smith divine, as with a careless beat,
Struck out the mute creation at a heat;
But, when arrived at last to human race,
The Godhead took a deep considering space;
And, to distinguish man from all the rest,
Unlocked the sacred treasures of his breast;
And mercy mixt with reason did impart,
One to his head, the other to his heart;
Reason to rule, but mercy to forgive;
The first is law, the last prerogative.
And like his mind his outward form appeared,
When, issuing naked to the wondering herd,
He charmed their eyes; and, for they loved, they feared.
Not armed with horns of arbitrary might,
Or claws to seize their furry spoils in fight,
Or with increase of feet to o'ertake them in their flight;
Of easy shape, and pliant every way,
Confessing still the softness of his clay,
And kind as kings upon their coronation day;
With open hands, and with extended space
Of arms, to satisfy a large embrace.
Thus kneaded up with milk, the new-made man
His kingdom o'er his kindred world began;
Till knowledge misapplied, misunderstood,
And pride of empire, soured his balmy blood.
Then, first rebelling, his own stamp he coins;
The murderer Cain was latent in his loins;
And blood began its first and loudest cry,
For differing worship of the Deity.
Thus persecution rose, and farther space
Produced the mighty hunter of his race.
Not so the blessed Pan his flock increased,
Content to fold them from the famished beast:
Mild were his laws; the sheep and harmless hind
Were never of the persecuting kind.
Such pity now the pious pastor shows,
Such mercy from the British Lion flows,
That both provide protection from their foes.
Inner and Outer
Date of Entry

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