"More truly happy those who can / Govern that little empire, Man."

— Stepney, George (1663-1707)

1684, 1749
"More truly happy those who can / Govern that little empire, Man."
Metaphor in Context
  We barbarously call them blest,
  Who are of largest tenements possest,
  Whilst swelling coffers break their owner's rest.
  More truly happy those who can
  Govern that little empire, Man
Bridle their passions and direct their will
Thro' all the glitt'ring paths of charming ill;
Who spend their treasure freely, as 'twas giv'n
By the large bounty of indulgent heav'n;
Who in a fixt unalterable state,
Smile at the doubtful tide of fate,
And scorn alike her friendship and her hate;
  Who poison less than falshood fear,
  Loth to purchase life so dear;
But kindly for their friend embrace cold death,
And seal their country's love with their departing breath.
(II, 52-3; cf. pp. 317-18 in 1684 miscellany)
HDIS (Poetry); confirmed in ECCO.
At least 9 hits in ECCO and ESTC (1684, 1702, 1717, 1730, 1749, 1750, 1751, 1780).

Appears in Miscellany Poems Containing a New Translation of Virgills Eclogues, Ovid's Love Elegies, Odes of Horace, and Other Authors: With Several Original Poems by the Most Eminent Hands. (London: Printed for Jacob Tonson, 1684). <Link to EEBO>

Text from The Works of the Most Celebrated Minor Poets. Namely, Wentworth, Earl of Roscommon; Charles, Earl of Dorset; Charles, Earl of Halifax; Sir Samuel Garth; George Stepney, Esq; William Walsh, Esq; Thomas Tickell, Esq. Never Before Collected and Publish’d Together. In Two Volumes. (London: Printed for F. Cogan, at the Middle Temple Gate, 1749). <Link to ESTC>
Date of Entry

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