Melancholy may "round [one's] heart erect [her] ebon throne"

— Woodhouse, James (bap. 1735, d. 1820)

Place of Publication
Printed for the author, and sold by Dodsley
Melancholy may "round [one's] heart erect [her] ebon throne"
Metaphor in Context
Oh! gloomy Goddess! ne'er approach my cot,
To make more dreary my penurious lot;
To damp my labour, break my peaceful rest,
And cloud the sunshine of my chearful breast.
Could thy dull presence, when dire ills intrude,
Assuage their smart, or future pains preclude,
Thy happy influence then I'd ne'er disown,
But round my heart erect thy ebon throne:
But thou mak'st misery strike with double force,
Still pois'ning every pleasure at its source.
Then leave my breast, with all thy hated trains,
Nor spread thy raven plumes on Albion's plains;
To nunn'ries, cloisters, monasteries, fly,
There damp the heart, and dim the radiant eye;
With abstinence thy sullen vot'ries pine,
And pilgrimages, penances, enjoin.
But rational Reflection, eagle-ey'd,
Point thou my path, with Chearfulness thy guide;
Teach me, though misery's ev'ry mortal's meed,
Though pains to pleasure, pleasures pains succeed;
Though brumal blasts awhile deform the year,
Yet soon the jocund smiles of spring appear.
Then I'll enjoy the pleasures while they last,
Nor fear the future, nor regret the past:
Those pleasures which befit a virtuous mind,
For other pleasures leave a sting behind;
Preventing ills, for ills will oft intrude,
My heart still arm'd with Christian fortitude;
That fortitude which virtue will attend
Thro' life's short conflict, which so soon must end.
Only 1 entry in ESTC (1766).

Poems on Several Occasions. By James Woodhouse, Journeyman Shoemaker, 2nd edition (London: Printed for the author, and sold by Dodsley, 1766). <Link to ESTC><Link to ECCO><Link to Hathi Trust><Link to Google Books>

Note, some poems in this edition first collected in 1764 in Poems on Sundry Occasions. Note, also, the collection published in 1788 with title Poems on Several Occasions does not contain the same poems. Cf. ESTC and Brit. Mus. Catalogue.

Text from The Life and Poetical Works of James Woodhouse, ed. R. I. Woodhouse, 2 vols. (London: The Leadenhall Press, 1896). <Link to Hathi Trust> <Link to LION>
Date of Entry

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