"Fat is foul weather--dims the fancy's sight"

— Wolcot, John, pseud. Peter Pindar, (1738-1819)

Place of Publication
G. Kearsley and W. Forster
"Fat is foul weather--dims the fancy's sight"
Metaphor in Context
Painters and Poets never should be fat--
Sons of Apollo! listen well to that.
Fat is foul weather--dims the fancy's sight:
In poverty, the wits more nimbly muster:
Thus stars, when pinch'd by frost, cast keener lustre
On the black blanket of old mother night.

Your heavy fat, I will maintain,
Is perfect birdlime of the brain;
And, as to goldfinches the birdlime clings--
Fat holds ideas by the legs and wings.

Fat flattens the most brilliant thoughts,
Like the buff-stop on harpsichords, or spinets--
Muffling their pretty little tuneful throats,
That would have chirp'd away like linnets.
(cf. pp. 12-3 in 1787 ed.)
Searching in HDIS (Poetry); confirmed in ECCO.
14 entries in ESTC. Collection expanded from 1782 to 1790; see also More Lyric Odes. Hits in ECCO and ESTC (1782, 1787, 1788, 1789, 1791, 1792, 1793, 1794, 1795).

The first eight odes published as Lyric Odes, to the Royal Academicians. By Peter Pindar, a Distant Relation to the Poet of Thebes. (London: Printed for the author, and sold by T. Egerton, Charing Cross; Baldwin, Pater-Noster Row; and Debrett, opposite Burlington House, Piccadilly, 1782). <Link to ESTC><Link to ECCO> [This ode doesn't appear in this 1782 edition]

See Lyric Odes to the Royal Academicians, for M,Dcc,Lxxxii. by Peter Pindar, a Distant Relation of the Poet of Thebes., 5th ed., enlarged (London: Printed for G. Kearsley, No. 46, Fleet-Street; and W. Forster, No. 348, near Exeter-Change, in the Strand, 1787). <Link to ECCO>

Text from The Works of Peter Pindar, 4 vols. (London: Printed for Walker and Edwards, 1816).
Date of Entry
Date of Review

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