"Can gold calm passion, or make reason shine? / Can we dig peace or wisdom from the mine?"

— Young, Edward (bap. 1683, d. 1765)

Place of Publication
Printed for J. Tonson
"Can gold calm passion, or make reason shine? / Can we dig peace or wisdom from the mine?"
Metaphor in Context
Can gold calm passion, or make reason shine?
Can we dig peace or wisdom from the mine?

Wisdom to gold prefer; for 'tis much less
To make our fortune than our happiness;
That happiness which great ones often see,
With rage and wonder, in a low degree;
Themselves unbless'd. The poor are only poor;
But what are they who droop amid their store?
Nothing is meaner than a wretch of state:
The happy only are the truly great.
Peasants enjoy like appetites with kings,
And those best satisfied with cheapest things.
Could both our Indies buy but one new sense,
Our envy would be due to large expense.
Since not, those pomps which to the great belong
Are but poor arts to mark them from the throng.
See how they beg an alms of flattery!
They languish: O, support them with a lie!
A decent competence we fully taste;
It strikes our sense, and gives a constant feast.
More we perceive by dint of thought alone:
The rich must labour to possess their own,
To feel their great abundance; and request
Their humble friends to help them to be bless'd,
To see their treasures, hear their glory told,
And aid the wretched impotence of gold.
Searching "reason" and "gold" in HDIS (Poetry)
The satires were first published individually, 1726-1728. At least 31 entries in ESTC (1728, 1730, 1731, 1741, 1750, 1752, 1753, 1755, 1758, 1760, 1762, 1778, 1783).

See Love of Fame, The Universal Passion. Satire VI. On Women. Inscrib’d to the Right Honourable the Lady Elizabeth Germain. (Dublin: Printed by S. Powell, for George Ewing, at the Angel and Bible in Dame’s-Street, 1728). <Link to ESTC>

See also Love of Fame, the Universal Passion. In Seven Characteristical Satires., 2nd edition corr., and alter’d. (London: Printed for J. Tonson in the Strand, 1728). <Link to ESTC>

Text from The Complete Works, Poetry and Prose, of the Rev. Edward Young, LL.D., Formerly Rector of Welwyn, Hertfordshire, &c. Revised and Collated With the Earliest Editions. To Which Is Prefixed, a Life of the Author, by John Doran, LL.D. With Eight Illustrations on Steel, and a Portrait. 2 vols. (London: William Tegg and Co., 1854).
Date of Entry

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