The Body and the Mind


T HE Body , jealous of the Mind ,
For agony's division pin'd;
" Shall I, " said he, " who share her pleasure,
Be robb'd of her affliction's measure?
Denied the talents to endure,
And mock'd into a sinecure,
When she upon the rack is thrown,
And makes the bed of thorns her own! "
Apollo heard; and, from the bow,
Which tries the lov'd, and kills the foe;
To shake the lungs a cough he sent,
An arrow to the colic lent;
He pierc'd the heart, the nerves oppress'd,
And robb'd the heated veins of rest.
The Body found its prowess fail,
And curs'd the pestilential gale;
For solace to the Mind repair'd,
And pains like these would fain have spar'd;
Nay — to the Mind would fain impart
The point and venom of the dart.
But still the Mind its throne sustain'd,
And firm as adamant remain'd;
With dignity and settled grief
Abjur'd impertinent relief,
But smil'd at the intrusion vain
Of this corporeal victim's pain:
" Shall I, " she said, " on billows tost,
My honour fled, my wishes cross'd,
Survive the tortures of regret,
And live — despairing to forget?
But still upon Ixion's wheel
Your flimsy colic deign to feel?
Your pleasures lying on the shelf,
Pray keep your sufferings to yourself . "
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