"Too well, fair youth! thy lib'ral heart he knew; / A heart to Nature's warm impressions true!"

— Falconer, William (bap. 1732, d. 1770)

Place of Publication
Printed for C. Cooke [etc.]
"Too well, fair youth! thy lib'ral heart he knew; / A heart to Nature's warm impressions true!"
Metaphor in Context
Graceful of form, by nature taught to please,
Of pow'r to melt the female breast with ease.
To her Palemon told his tender tale,
Soft as the voice of summer's evening gale.
O'erjoy'd, he saw her lovely eyes relent;
The blushing maiden smil'd with sweet consent.
Oft' in the mazes of a neighbouring grove,
Unheard, they breath'd alternate vows of love:
By fond society their passion grew,
Like the young blossom fed with vernal dew.
In evil hour the officious tongue of Fame
Betray'd the secret of their mutual flame.
With grief and anger struggling in his breast,
Palemon's father heard the tale confest.
Long had he listen'd with suspicious ear,
And learnt, sagacious, this event to fear.
Too well, fair youth! thy lib'ral heart he knew;
A heart to Nature's warm impressions true!
Full oft' his wisdom strove, with fruitless toil,
With av'rice to pollute that generous soil:
That soil, impregnated with nobler seed,
Refus'd the culture of so rank a weed.
Elate with wealth, in active commerce won,
And basking in the smile of fortune's sun,
With scorn the parent ey'd the lowly shade
That veil'd the beauties of this charming maid.
Indignant he rebuk'd th' enamour'd boy,
The flatt'ring promise of his future joy!
He sooth'd and menac'd, anxious to reclaim
This hopeless passion, or divert its aim:
Oft' led the youth where circling joys delight
The ravish'd sense, or beauty charms the sight.
With all her powers enchanting Music fail'd,
And Pleasure's syren voice no more prevail'd.
The merchant, kindling then with proud disdain,
In look and voice assum'd an harsher strain:
In absence now his only hope remain'd;
And such the stern decree his will ordain'd.
Deep anguish, while Palemon heard his doom,
Drew o'er his lovely face a sadd'ning gloom.
In vain with bitter sorrow he repin'd,
No tender pity touch'd that sordid mind;
To thee, brave Albert, was the charge consign'd,
The stately ship, forsaking England's shore,
To regions far remote Palemon bore.
Incapable of change, th' unhappy youth
Still lov'd fair Anna with eternal truth:
From clime to clime an exile doom'd to roam,
His heart still panted for its secret home.
Searching "heart" and "impression" in HDIS (Poetry)
Date of Entry

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