"Yet he no rustic clownishness profest, / Nor was soft love a stranger to his breast"

— Dryden, John (1631-1700)

"Yet he no rustic clownishness profest, / Nor was soft love a stranger to his breast"
Metaphor in Context
These some old man sees wanton in the air,
And praises the unhappy constant pair;
Then to his friend the long-necked Cormorant shows,
The former tale reviving other woes:
"That sable bird," he cries, "which cuts the flood
With slender legs, was once of royal blood;
His ancestors from mighty Tros proceed,
The brave Laomedon and Ganymede,
Whose beauty tempted Jove to steal the boy,
And Priam, hapless prince! who fell with Troy;
Himself was Hector's brother, and, had fate
But given this hopeful youth a longer date,
Perhaps had rivalled warlike Hector's worth,
Though on the mother's side of meaner birth;
Fair Alyxothoé, a country maid,
Bare Æsacus by stealth in Ida's shade.
He fled the noisy town, and pompous court,
Loved the lone hills, and simple rural sport,
And seldom to the city would resort.
Yet he no rustic clownishness profest,
Nor was soft love a stranger to his breast
The youth had long the nymph Hesperie wooed,
Oft through the thicket, or the mead, pursued.
Her haply on her father's bank he spied,
While fearless she her silver tresses dried;
Away she fled; not stags with half such speed,
Before the prowling wolf, scud o'er the mead;
Not ducks, when they the safer flood forsake,
Pursued by hawks, so swift regain the lake,
As fast he followed in the hot career;
Desire the lover winged, the virgin fear.
A snake unseen now pierced her heedless foot,
Quick through the veins the venomed juices shoot;
She fell, and 'scaped by death his fierce pursuit.
Her lifeless body, frighted, he embraced,
And cried, "Not this I dreaded, but thy haste;
O had my love been less, or less thy fear!
The victory thus bought is far too dear.
Accursed snake! yet I more cursed than he!
He gave the wound; the cause was given by me.
Yet none shall say, that unrevenged you died."
He spoke; then climbed a cliff's o'erhanging side,
And, resolute, leaped on the foaming tide.
Tethys received him gently on the wave;
The death he sought denied, and feathers gave.
Debarred the surest remedy of grief,
And forced to live, he curst the unasked relief;
Then on his airy pinions upward flies,
And at a second fall successless tries,
The downy plume a quick descent denies.
Enraged, he often dives beneath the wave,
And there in vain expects to find a grave.
His ceaseless sorrow for the unhappy maid
Meagred his look, and on his spirits preyed.
Still near the sounding deep he lives; his name
From frequent diving and emerging came.
Searching "breast" and "stranger" in HDIS (Poetry)
See Ovid's Metamorphoses in fifteen books. Translated by the most eminent hands. (London: Jacob Tonson, 1717). <Link to Google Books><Link to ECCO>
Date of Entry

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