"Great Prince, th' Almighty has to you been kind, / Stamp'd Graces on your Body and your mind."

— Pordage, Samuel (bap. 1633, d. c. 1691)

Place of Publication
Printed for Charles Lee
"Great Prince, th' Almighty has to you been kind, / Stamp'd Graces on your Body and your mind."
Metaphor in Context
Hushai in Silence heard the Prince, and weigh'd
Each word he spake, then to him thus reply'd;
Great Prince, th' Almighty has to you been kind,
Stamp'd Graces on your Body and your mind,

As if he for your Head a Crown design'd.
We shall not search into Fates Secret Womb,
God alone knows the things that are to come;
But should you never sit on David's Throne,
'Tis better to deserve than wear a Crown.
Of Royal Blood, and of great Birth you are,
Born under some benign auspicious Star,
Lov'd by the best, and prais'd by every Tongue,
The glorious Subject of each worthy Song:
The young man's Wish, Joy of each Warlike Wight,
The People's Darling, and the World's Delight.
A Crowd of Vertues fill your Princely Breast,
And what appears more glorious than the rest,
You are of Truth and Loyalty possest.
That I would cherish in you, that would raise
To an admired height, that I would chiefly praise.
Let Fools and subtil Politicians scorn
Fair Vertue, which doth best a Prince adorn:
Whilst you her bright and shining Robes put on,
You will appear more great than Solomon.
Let not Great Prince, the Fumes of Vulgar Praise,
Your bolder Spirits to Ambition raise.
We cannot see into the Mist of Fate,
Till time brings forth, you must expecting wait;
But Fortune, rather Providence, not Chance,
The constant, stout, and wise doth still advance.
Let your quick Eye be to her Motions ty'd;
But still let Noble Vertue be your Guide:
For when that God and Vertue points the way,
There can be then no danger to obey.
But here in Wisdom's School we ought to learn,
How we 'twixt Good and Evil may discern,
For noble Prince, you must true difference make,
Lest for the one the other you mistake.
You must not think you may your self advance,
By laying hold on every proffer'd chance.
Tho Fortune seems to smile, and egg you on,
Let Vertue be your Rule and Guide alone.
Thus David for his Guide his Vertue took;
Nor was by Fortune's proffer'd Kindness shook.
His Vertue and his Loyalty did save
King Saul, when Fortune brought him to his Cave.
And if that I may to you Counsel give,
You should without a Crown for ever live,
Rather than get it by the Peoples Lust,
Or purchase it by ways that are unjust.
David your Ancestor, from whom you spring,
Would never by Rebellion be made King;
But long in Gath a Warring Exile stay'd,
Till for him God a lawful way had made.
In Hebron, full of Glory and Renown,
He gain'd, at last, and not usurpt the Crown.
By full Consent he did the same obtain,
And Heav'n's anointing Oyl was not in vain.
I once did seem to Amazia dear,
Who me above m'ambitious hopes did rear;
I serv'd him then according to my skill,
And bow'd my Mind unto my Soveraign's Will.
Too neer the Soveraign Image then I stood,
To think that every Line and Stroke was good.
Some Daubers I endeavour'd to remove,
And to amend their artless Errours strove.
My Skill in secret these with slander wound;
With every Line I drew still faults were found;
Till wearied, I at last my Work gave o're.
And Amazia (I shall say no more)
Did me to my lov'd Privacy restore.
For this they think I must my Vertue change,
For Envy, Malice, and for sweet Revenge.
Me by themselves they judge, who would do so,
And cause the King suspect me for his Foe.
But by th'advice I give, you best will find
Th'Integrity and Plainness of my Mind;
And that I harbour not that vile intent
Their Poets and their Malice do invent.
Far be't from me, to be like Cursed Cham;
A good Son strives to hide his Father's shame.
A King, the Father of his Country is;
His shame is every Act he doth amiss.
Good and just Kings God's Image bear; but when
Their Frailties let us see they are but Men,
We cannot every Action so applaud,
As if it came from an unerring God.
Kings have their Passions, and deceiv'd may be,
When b'others Ears and Eyes they hear and see:
For Sycophants, of Courts the Bane and Curse,
Make all things better than they are, or worse.
To Evil prone, to Mischief ever bent,
Th'all Objects with false colours represent;
The Guilty clear, condemn the Innocent.
Thus, noble Prince, they you and me accuse
With all the Venome Malice can infuse.
Baal's Priests, Hell, and our Foes, new Arts have got,
The filthy Reliques of their former Plot;
Whereby they would our Lives in danger bring,
And make us cursed Traytors to the King.
What mayn't these cunning men hope to atchieve,
When by their Arts few men their Plot believe?
When b'horrid ways, not known to Jews before,
Their Plot's transform'd, and laid now at our door?
But fear not, Sir, we have a sure Defence,
The Peoples Love, God, Law, and Innocence.
Keep fast your Vertue, and you shall be blest,
And let alone to God and Time the rest.
Searching "stamp" and "mind" in HDIS (Poetry)
Samuel Pordage, Azaria and Hushai, A Poem (London: Printed for Charles Lee, 1682). <Link to EEBO><Link to Google Books>
Mind and Body
Date of Entry

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