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Date: August 4, 1778

"Behold! the soul shall waft away, / Whene'er we come to die, / And leave its cottage made of clay, / In twinkling of an eye."

— Hammon, Jupiter (1711-c.1800)

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Date: December 1781

"Smooth, ductile, and even, [the poet's] fancy must flow, / Must tinkle and glitter like gold to the sight / And catch in its progress a sensible glow."

— Cowper, William (1731-1800)

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Date: 1782

"Neglected talents rust into decay"

— Cowper, William (1731-1800)

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Date: 1782

Superficial education slights "the precious kernel of the stone" and polishes "its rough coat alone"

— Cowper, William (1731-1800)

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Date: 1782

In polishing the mind, Luxury gives it a "childish cast"

— Cowper, William (1731-1800)

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Date: 1782

"Let heathen worthies, whose exalted mind / Left sensuality and dross behind, / Possess for me their undisputed lot"

— Cowper, William (1731-1800)

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Date: November 10, 1783

"He gives, what bankrupt Nature never can, / Whose noblest coin is light and brittle man, / Gold, purer far than Ophir ever knew, / A soul, an image of himself, and therefore true."

— Cowper, William (1731-1800)

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Date: 1785

Wisdom is a pearl "with most success / Sought in still water, and beneath clear skies"

— Cowper, William (1731-1800)

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Date: 1785

The mind may be "polish'd"

— Cowper, William (1731-1800)

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Date: 1785

One may steal "The gem of truth from his unguarded soul"

— Cowper, William (1731-1800)

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