The mind may be haunted by a thought

— Cowper, William (1731-1800)

Place of Publication
Joseph Johnson
The mind may be haunted by a thought
Metaphor in Context
My love! for I imagine not that all
The warrior Greeks shall safe from Troy return,
Since fame reports the Trojans brave in fight,
Skill'd in the spear, mighty to draw the bow,
And nimble vaulters to the backs of steeds
High-mettled, which to speediest issue bring
The dreadful struggle of all-wasting war,--
I know not, therefore, whether Heaven intend
My safe return, or I must perish there.
But manage thou at home. Cherish, as now,
While I am absent, or more dearly still
My parents, and what time our son thou seest
Mature, then wed; wed even whom thou wilt,
And hence to a new home.--Such were his words,
All which shall full accomplishment ere long
Receive. The day is near, when hapless I,
Lost to all comfort by the will of Jove,
Must meet the nuptials that my soul abhors.
But this thought now afflicts me, and my mind
Continual haunts.
Such was not heretofore
The suitors custom'd practice; all who chose
To engage in competition for a wife
Well-qualitied and well-endow'd, produced
From their own herds and fatted flocks a feast
For the bride's friends, and splendid presents made,
But never ate as ye, at others' cost.
2 entries in ESTC (1791, 1792).

Text from The Iliad and Odyssey of Homer, Translated Into English Blank Verse, by W. Cowper, of the Inner Temple, Esq., 2 vols. (London: Printed for J. Johnson, No 72, St. Paul’s Church-Yard, 1791). <Link to ESTC>
Date of Entry

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