"[T]he heart's decisions" may be "stamp'd / By Nature's seal, and man's primæval laws"

— Polwhele, Richard (1760-1838)

Place of Publication
Printed for T. Cadell, and Sold by C. Dilly, and G. G. J. and J. Robinson
"[T]he heart's decisions" may be "stamp'd / By Nature's seal, and man's primæval laws"
Metaphor in Context
For, vainly think not, tho' the classic school
Of eloquence hath charm'd thy tranced hours,
That, there, the just--the appropriate model claims
Thine imitative labours. Unconstrain'd,
From equity's intrinsic source, (to all
Perspicuous), and the heart's decisions stamp'd
By Nature's seal, and man's primæval laws,

The immortal champions of the forum drew
Their more persuasive numbers. Short their code,
And simple; wedded to no toil austere;
Nor asking many a lustrum, to devote
The midnight lamp to musing. To combine
The quick varieties of thought; to snatch
From elocution all the heightening grace
Of diction; and amuse the million's eye
By each external impulse; this their boast,
This was their aim. No deep immuring pile
(The science of innumerous tomes) opprest
The mental strength elastic; nor perplex'd
By facts from mazy records, the free flow
Of speech, that never hesitating ran
Thro' easy vein. And while (the rare result
Of letter'd art) the precious volume gave
Its treasures to the few--perhaps no more
Accessible, and barr'd from vulgar gaze;
They bade retentive memory on their mind
Impress each image, in distinctive lines
That mock'd erasure. Hence the pleader, bold
In vigorous thought, and trusting to those powers
Which knew no ready refuge in the means
Of foreign aid, unlock'd with nature's key
The secret springs that agitate the soul!
Searching "heart" and "seal" in HDIS (Poetry)
Only 1 entry in ESTC (1792).

See Richard Polewhele, ed. Poems, Chiefly by Gentlemen of Devonshire and Cornwall., 2 vols. (London: Printed for T. Cadell, 1792). <Link to ECCO>
Date of Entry

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