"Heav'ns! what Ideas fill'd each mighty Mind! / Their Works appear'd the Mirrour of Mankind!"

— Mitchell, Joseph (c. 1684-1738)

Place of Publication
Printed for Harmen Noorthouck
"Heav'ns! what Ideas fill'd each mighty Mind! / Their Works appear'd the Mirrour of Mankind!"
Metaphor in Context
Mean while, a Priest to Phoebus and the Nine,
My Stipend scarce affords inspiring Wine:
(So be my Faults, whatever Faults there be,
Imputed to the Times, and not to me.)
This, by the Spirit of my Verse you'll guess,
And wonder I shou'd venture on the Press.
But think, my Friend, what's Heresy with you,
With us is honest, Orthodox, True-Blue.
'Tis Odds, but my Prosaic Numbers please;
For Readers here love Verses writ with Ease.
Mankind (and who can blame them?) relish best
The Entertainments, suited to their Taste.
Hence our Trans-Tweedale Poets, when they print,
(Tho' you shou'd swear you see no Beauty in't.)
Affect a Sort of Writing, that goes down,
Like sugar'd Plumbs, in this devoted Town.
Thus[1] Clark, and Ker, write Palinodes and Sonnets,
Adapted to the Genius of Blue Bonnets;
While Hamiltoun, and Pennycuick, compose,
To the same Tune, a Sort of jingling Prose.
Ev'n Poet Ramsay, in Parnassus fam'd,
The common-Gutherum of the Muses nam'd!
(Tho' Ramsay cou'd assert the true Sublime,)
Intent on Cash, pursues the vulgar Rhime.
'Twou'd break his Stock o'er common Vogue to rise!
Above our Hemisphere there's nought but hungry Skies.
How great the Curse, if such, alone, shou'd stand
The modern Classicks of my native Land?
A higher Spirit did our Country boast,--
But ah! the antient Energy how lost!
Douglas, Buchanan, Drummond, and the rest,
Of Fame immortal! different Sense express'd.
Heav'ns! what Ideas fill'd each mighty Mind!
Their Works appear'd the Mirrour of Mankind!

Nor judg'd the Readers worse than Poets writ:
They ne'er paid Money, but for Sterling Wit.
Then Giants liv'd!--but stop, my pious Muse,
And you, my Friend, my melting Grief excuse.
Then Scotia was a Kingdom, fam'd! and free!
Each Subject then his native Prince might see!
Kings, in Succession, grac'd the ancient Throne!
Nor sought, nor envy'd Nations, not their own!
Beneath their Influence, Arts and Arms cou'd live,
And every Thing, but modern Vices, thrive.
The Roman Eloquence they Captive made,
And dar'd their conquering Pow'rs our Glory to invade
But ah! how faln! How low our Honours lie!
--Yet pass we this severe Reflection by,
And hail the Sister-Lands! O may they prove
Rivals in Virtue, Loyalty, and Love;
By George's Wisdom, and resistless Might,
Abroad still conquer, and at Home unite.
Searching "mind" and "mirrour" ("mirror") in HDIS (Poetry)
At least 3 entries in ECCO and ESTC (1729, 1732).

Joseph Mitchell, Poems on Several Occasions, 2 vols. (London: Harmen Noorthouck, 1732). <Link to ECCO>
Date of Entry

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