Nature’s Cabinet

In Nature’s cabinet, the brain, you’ll find
Many a toy1 which doth delight the mind:
Several colored ribbons of fancies2 new
To tie in hats or hair of lovers true;
Imagination’s masks, where nothing’s shown3                        5
But th’eyes of knowledge, all the rest unknown;4
Fans of opinion, which do waft5 the wind
According as the heat is in the mind;
Gloves of remembrance to6 draw off and on—
Thoughts in the brain sometimes are7 there, then gone.       10
Veils of forgetfulness the thoughts do hide,
Which when8 turned up, then is their face espied.
Pendants of understanding heavy there9
Are found, but do not hang10 in every ear.
Patches11 of ignorance to stick upon12                                       15
The face of fools—this cabinet is shown.

  1. toy] fine Knack, 1653
  2. A marginal note in 1653 reads, “Which are love verses.” In 1664 this note reads, “Love verses”; in 1668, “Love’s verses.”
  3. Imagination’s masks, where nothing’s shown] Masques of Imaginations onely shew 1653
  4. But th’eyes of knowledge, all the rest unknown;] The Eyes of Knowledge, t’other part none know. 1653
  5. do waft] wave 1653
  6. to] which 1653
  7. Thoughts in the brain sometimes are] For Thoughts i’th’ Brain are sometimes 1664; For Thoughts i’th’ Brain, are sometimes 1668
  8. Which when,] The Scarfe 1653
  9. there] were, 1653
  10. Are found, but do not hang] But Nature hangs them not 1653
  11. Patches] Black Patches 1653
  12. upon] on 1653