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SECTION XV.

HEARING

Now let us hear how she the ears employs :

Their office is the troubled air to take; Which in their mazes forms a sound or noise,

Whereof herself doth true distinction make.

These wickets of the soul are plac'd on high,

Because all sounds do lightly mount aloft, And that they may not pierce too violently,

They are delay'd with turns and windings oft.

For should the voice directly strike the brain,

It would astonish and confuse it much; Therefore these plaits and folds the sound restrain,

That it the organ may more gently touch.

As streams, which with their winding banks do play, Stopp'd by their creeks, run softly through the

plain: So in th' ear's labyrinth the voice doth stray,

And doth with easy motion touch the brain.

This is the slowest, yet the daintiest sense;

For e'en the ears of such as have no skill, Perceive a discord, and conceive offence;

And, knowing not what's good, yet find the ill.

And though this sense first gentle music found,

Her proper object is the speech of men; But that speech chiefly which God's heralds sound,

When their tongues utter what his spirit did pen.

Our eyes have lids, our ears still ope we see,

Quickly to hear how ev'ry tale is provid: Our eyes still move, our ears unmoved be; That though we hear quick, we be not quickly

mov'd.

Thus by the organs of the eye and ear,

The soul with knowledge doth herself endue: “ Thus she her prison may with pleasure bear,

Having such prospects, all the world to view."

These conduit-pipes of knowledge feed the mind,

But th’ other three attend the body still ; For by their services the soul doth find,

What things are to the body good or ill.

SECTION XVI.

TASTE.

The body's life with meats and air is fed,

Therefore the soul doth use the tasting pow'r
In veins, which through the tongue and palate

spread,
Distinguish ev'ry relish, sweet and sour.

This is the body's nurse; but since man's wit

Found th' art of cook’ry to delight his sense, More bodies are consum'd and kill'd with it,

Than with the sword, famine, or pestilence.

SECTION XVII,

SMELLING.

Next, in the nostrils she doth use the smell :

As God the breath of life in them did give; So makes he now this pow'r in them to dwell,

To judge all airs, whereby we breathe and live.

This sense is also mistress of an art,

Which to soft people sweet perfumes doth sell; Though this dear art doth little good impart, “ Since they smell best, that do of nothing

smell.”

And yet good scents do purify the brain,

Awake the fancy, and the wits refine: Hence old Devotion incense did ordain,

To make men's spirits apt for thoughts divine.

SECTION XVIII,

FEELING

Lastly, the feeling pow'r, which is life's root,

Through ev'ry living part itself doth shed By sinews, which extend from head to foot;

And, like a net, all o’er the body spread.

Much like a subtle spider,* which doth sit

In middle of her web, which spreadeth wide;

* The spider's touch how exquisitely fine,
Feels at each thread, and lives along the line.

Pope's Essay on Man,
Vol. IV.

F

If aught do touch the utmost thread of it,

She feels it instantly on ev'ry side.

By touch, the first pure qualities we learn,
Which quicken all things, hot, cold, moist, and

dry: By touch, hard, soft, rough, smooth, we do discern:

By touch, sweet pleasure and sharp pain we try.

SECTION XIX.

OF THE IMAGINATION, OR COMMON SENSE.

These are the outward instruments of sense;
These are the guards which ev'ry thing must

pass,
Ere it approach the mind's intelligence,

Or touch the fantasy, wit's looking-glass.

And yet these porters, which all things admit,

Themselves perceive not, nor discern the things: One common pow'r doth in the forehead sit,

Which all their proper forms together brings.

For all those nerves, which spirits of sense do bear,

And to those outward organs spreading go, United are, as in a centre, there;

(know, And there this pow'r those sundry forms doth

Those outward organs present things receive,

This inward sense doth absent things retain; Yet straight transmits all forms she doth perceive,

Unto an higher region of the brain,

SECTION XX.

FANTASY.

WHERE fantasy, near hand-maid to the mind,

Sits, and beholds, and doth discern them all; Compounds in one, things diff'rent in their kind; Compares the black and white, the great and

small.

Besides, those single forms she doth esteem,

And in her balance doth their values try; Where some things good, and some things ill do

And neutral some, in her fantastic eye. (seem,

This busy pow'r is working day and night;

For when the outward senses rest do take, A thousand dreams, fantastical and light,

With flutt'ring wings do keep her still awake.

SECTION XXI.

SENSITIVE MEMORY.

Yer always all may not afore her be;

Successively she this and that intends ; Therefore such forms as she doth cease to see,

To memory's large volume she commends.

This ledger-book lies in the brain behind,

Like Janus' eye, which in his poll was set: The layman's tables, storehouse of the mind;

Which doth remember much, and much forget,

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