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Date: c. 501 B.C.

"A dry gleam of light is the wisest and best soul."

— Heraklitus (fl. 504-1 BCE)

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Date: 1664

"I can only say in general, that the souls of other men shine out at little crannies; they understand some one thing, perhaps to admiration, while they are darkened on all the other parts: but your Lordship's soul is an entire globe of light, breaking out on every side; and if I have only discove...

— Dryden, John (1631-1700)

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Date: November, 1682

"Dim, as the borrow'd beams of moon and stars / To lonely, weary, wand'ring travellers, / Is reason to the soul; and as on high, / Those rolling fires discover but the sky / Not light us here; so reason's glimmering ray / Was lent not to assure our doubtful way, / But guide us upward to a better ...

— Dryden, John (1631-1700)

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Date: 1685

"These bugbears of the mind, this inward hell, / No rays of outward sunshine can dispel; / But nature and right reason must display / Their beams abroad, and bring the darksome soul to day."

— Dryden, John (1631-1700)

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Date: 1690, 1694, 1695, 1700, 1706

"In all these cases, Ideas in the Mind, quickly fade, and often vanish quite out of the Understanding, leaving no more footsteps or remaining Characters of themselves, than Shadows do flying over fields of Corn; and the Mind is as void of them, as if they never had been there."

— Locke, John (1632-1704)

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Date: 1691

"All these assurances made but weak impressions on the Princess's Spirit, she felt something at the bottom of her heart, which would not suffer her to receive the joy which such news ought to give her, and this beam of hope appeared to her like a Sun shine just before a Storm, which it seemed wil...

— Anonymous

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Date: Licens'd Decemb. 22. 1691

"I burn and am consumed with hopeless Love; those Beams in whose soft temperate warmth I wanton'd heretofore, now flash destruction to my Soul, my Treacherous greedy Eyes have suck'd the glaring Light, they have united all its Rays, and, like a burning-Glass, Convey'd the pointed Meteor to-my Hea...

— Congreve, William (1670-1729)

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Date: 1700

"But quickly Dying, [reason] forsakes us soon, / Like Morning Stars, that never stay till Noon."

— Pomfret, John (1667-1702)

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Date: 1700, 1702

"A Beam of Hope, / Strikes thro' my Soul, like the first Infant Light, / That glanc'd upon the Chaos."

— Rowe, Nicholas (1674-1718)

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Date: 1700, 1702

"And all fires those that lighted up my Soul / Glory and bright Ambition languish now, / And leave me dark and gloomy as the Grave."

— Rowe, Nicholas (1674-1718)

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