"Each character performs its noble part, / And stamps its Image on the Readers heart"

— Behn, Aphra (1640?-1689)

Place of Publication
Printed for Joseph Knight, and Francis Saunders
"Each character performs its noble part, / And stamps its Image on the Readers heart"
Metaphor in Context
Long have our Priests condemn'd a wicked Age,
And every little criticks sensless rage
Damn'd a forsaken self-declining stage:
Great 'tis confest and many are our crimes,
And no less profligate the vitious times,
But yet no wonder both prevail so ill,
The Poets fury and the Preachers skill;
While to the World it is so plainly known
They blame our faults, with great ones of their own,
Let their dull Pens flow with unlearned spight
And weakly censure what the skilful write;
You, learned Sir, a nobler passion shew,
Our best of rules and best example too.
Precepts and grave instructions dully move,
The brave Performer better do's improve,
Ver'st in the truest Satyr you excel
And shew how ill we write by writing well.
This noble Piece which well deserves your name
I read with pleasure thô I read with shame.
The tender Laurels which my brows had drest
Flag, like young Flowers, with too much heat opprest.
The generous fire I felt in every line
Shew'd me the cold, the feeble, force of mine.
Henceforth I'le you for imitation chuse
Your nobler flights will wing my Callow Muse;
So the young Eagle is inform'd to fly
By seeing the Monarch Bird ascend the sky.
And thô with less success her strength she'l try,
Spreads her soft plumes and his vast tracks persues
Thô far above the towring Prince she views:
High as she can she'll bear your deathless fame,
And make my song Immortal by your name.
But where the work is so Divinely wrought,
The rules so just and so sublime each thought,
When with so strict an Art your scenes are plac'd
With wit so new, and so uncommon, grac'd,
In vain, alas! I shou'd attempt to tell
Where, or in what, your Muse do's most excel.
Each character performs its noble part,
And stamps its Image on the Readers heart.

Searching "heart" and "stamp" in HDIS (Poetry)
Lycidus: or the Lover in Fashion. Being an Account from Lycidus to Lysander, Of his Voyage from the island of love. From the French. By the same author Of the Voyage to the Isle of love. Together with a miscellany of New Poems. By Several Hands (London: Printed for Joseph Knight, and Francis Saunders, 1688). <Link to EEBO-TCP>
Date of Entry

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