The soul may be "emancipated" and "unoppress'd"

— Cowper, William (1731-1800)

Work Title
Place of Publication
Joseph Johnson
The soul may be "emancipated" and "unoppress'd"
Metaphor in Context
No. Freedom has a thousand charms to show,
That slaves, howe'er contented, never know.
The mind attains beneath her happy reign
The growth that nature meant she should attain.
The varied fields of science, ever new,
Opening and wider opening on her view,
She ventures onward with a prosperous force,
While no base fear impedes her in her course.
Religion, richest favour of the skies,
Stands most reveal'd before the freeman's eyes;
No shades of superstition blot the day,
Liberty chases all that gloom away;
The soul, emancipated, unoppress'd,
Free to prove all things, and hold fast the best,
Learns much, and to a thousand listening minds
Communicates with joy the good she finds.
Courage in arms, and ever prompt to show
His manly forehead to the fiercest foe;
Glorious in war, but for the sake of peace,
His spirits rising as his toils increase,
Guards well what arts and industry have won,
And Freedom claims him for her first-born son.
Slaves fight for what were better cast away,
The chain that binds them, and a tyrant's sway;
But they that fight for freedom, undertake
The noblest cause mankind can have at stake,
Religion, virtue, truth, whate'er we call
A blessing, freedom is the pledge of all.
Oh liberty! the prisoner's pleasing dream,
The poet's muse, his passion and his theme,
Genius is thine, and thou art fancy's nurse,
Lost without thee the ennobling powers of verse;
Heroic song from thy free touch acquires
Its clearest tone, the rapture it inspires.
Place me where winter breathes his keenest air,
And I will sing if liberty be there;
And I will sing at liberty's dear feet,
In Afric's torrid clime or India's fiercest heat.
(ll. 260-297, p. 248-9)
At least 24 entries in ECCO and ESTC (1782, 1786, 1787, 1788, 1790, 1792, 1792, 1793, 1794, 1798, 1799, 1800).

See Poems by William Cowper (London: Printed for J. Johnson, 1782). <Link to Google Books><Link to ECCO-TCP>

Text from The Works of William Cowper (London: Baldwin and Cradock, 1835-1837).

Reading The Poems of William Cowper, 3 vols. ed. John D. Baird and Charles Ryskamp (Oxford: Oxford UP: 1980), I, pp. 241-261.
Date of Entry

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