Conscience "wounds indeed, / And makes the Heart of hardest Mettal bleed."

— Clark, William (fl. 1663-1685)

Place of Publication
Printed by the Heir of Andrew Anderson
Conscience "wounds indeed, / And makes the Heart of hardest Mettal bleed."
Metaphor in Context
[1]See how th'Almighties Arrows in my Heart
Are fix'd, beyond all remedy of Art.
Th'envenom'd Shafts have suck'd my Moysture dry,
And caus'd the Wounds they made, to putrify,
Spreading a foul contagion every where,
Yea even my very Soul they do not spare.
Besides I feed a flame within my Breast,
By which my pain is every hour encreas't,
A flame that burns with heat, and violence,
Beyond belief:--a flame of Conscience,
A flame that makes us waste our days in fear,
For who a wounded Conscience can bear
A wounded Conscienc!--ah a dreadful thing!
What Art can this express: whence shall I bring
Similitudes to point it out! O whence
Shall I bring homeward so much Eloquence,
As to express a wounded Conscience!
A Sting of Conscience!--O a horrid thing!
Not the most virulent and sharpest Sting
Doth hurt the Body, as this doth the Mind,
No, no this Sting is of another kind,
Then all your Stings on Earth, no poysoned Dart,
Composed by the subtilest Rules of Art,
Makes such a wound, as doth a Conscience
When God allowes it once a perfect Sense
Of its own Strength: then, then it wounds indeed,
And makes the Heart of hardest Mettal bleed.

What tempered Steel can make a wound so deep,
As doth a Conscience rouz'd out of its sleep,
By Divine Power, it Rages, Stares, and Foames,
Like one out of his Wits, that haunts the Tombs,
It Stings, it Bites, it Pierces, Cuts, and Stricks
Practising all the Feats of Lunaticks:
For when of sin we have a lively sense
No Torment with a frighted Conscienc
Can be compar'd
Yet this, this Torment I endure, alace,
There's none can pity one in such a case,
But he that hath the like affliction known,
And so can guess my Torment by his own.
Searching "heart" and "steel" in HDIS (Poetry)
William Clark, The Grand Tryal: or, Poetical Exercitations upon the Book of Job. Wherein, Suitable to Each Text of that Sacred Book, a Modest Explanation, and Continuation of the Several Discourses contained in it, is Attempted by William Clark (Edinburgh: Andrew Anderson, 1685). <Link to EEBO-TCP>
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Date of Review

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