Oblivion may throw "Her dark blank shades" o'er your mind

— Mickle, William Julius [formerly William Meikle] (1734-1788)

Oblivion may throw "Her dark blank shades" o'er your mind
Metaphor in Context
Immortal heirs of light, my purpose hear,
My counsels ponder, and the Fates revere:
Unless Oblivion o'er your minds has thrown
Her dark blank shades
, to you, ye Gods, are known
The Fate's Decree, and ancient warlike Fame
Of that bold race which boasts of Lusus' name;
That bold advent'rous race the Fates declare,
A potent empire in the East shall rear,
Surpassing Babel's or the Persian fame,
Proud Grecia's boast, or Rome's illustrious name.
Oft from those brilliant seats have you beheld
The sons of Lusus on the dusty field,
With few triumphant o'er the numerous Moors,
Till from the beauteous lawns on Tagus' shores
They drove the cruel foe. And oft has heaven
Before their troops the proud Castilians driven;
While Victory her eagle-wings display'd
Where'er their Warriors waved the shining blade.
Nor rests unknown how Lusus' heroes stood
When Rome's ambition dy'd the world with blood;
What glorious laurels Viriatus[1] gain'd,
How oft his sword with Roman gore was stain'd;
And what fair palms their martial ardour crown'd,
When led to battle by the Chief renown'd,
Who[2] feign'd a dæmon, in a deer conceal'd,
To him the counsels of the Gods reveal'd.
And now ambitious to extend their sway
Beyond their conquests on the southmost bay
Of Afric's swarthy coast, on floating wood
They brave the terrors of the dreary flood,
Where only black-wing'd mists have hover'd o'er,
Or driving clouds have sail'd the wave before;
Beneath new skies they hold their dreadful way
To reach the cradle of the new-born day:
And Fate, whose mandates unrevok'd remain,
Has will'd, that long shall Lusus' offspring reign
The lords of that wide sea, whose waves behold
The sun come forth enthroned in burning gold.
But now the tedious length of winter past,
Distress'd and weak, the heroes faint at last.
What gulphs they dared, you saw, what storms they braved,
Beneath what various heavens their banners waved!
Now Mercy pleads, and soon the rising land
To their glad eyes shall o'er the waves expand;
As welcome friends the natives shall receive,
With bounty feast them, and with joy relieve.
And when refreshment shall their strength renew,
Thence shall they turn, and their bold rout pursue.
Searching "mind" and "blank" in HDIS (Poetry)
At least 6 entries in ECCO and ESTC (1770, 1776, 1777, 1794, 1798).

Text from The Lusiad; or, the Discovery of India. An Epic Poem. Translated from The Original Portuguese of Luís de Camões (Oxford: Printed by Jackson and Lister, and sold by Cadell, 1776). <Link to LION>

See also The First Book of the Lusiad, Published As a Specimen of a Translation of That Celebrated Epic Poem. By William Julius Mickle, Author of the Concubine, &c. (Oxford: printed by W. Jackson; and sold by Mess. Fletcher, Prince, and Bliss; T. and J. Merril in Cambridge; Cadell, Pearch, &c. London; and by Kincaid and Bell in Edinburgh, [1770?]).
Date of Entry

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