"E'en they th' impressive dart of love can feel, / Whose stubborn souls are sheath'd in triple steel."

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

Place of Publication
Printed for C. Cooke [etc.]
"E'en they th' impressive dart of love can feel, / Whose stubborn souls are sheath'd in triple steel."
Metaphor in Context
O'er the smooth bosom of the faithless tides,
Propell'd by gentle gales, the vessel glides.
Rodmond exulting felt th' auspicious wind,
And by a mystic charm its aim confin'd.
The thoughts of home, that o'er his fancy roll,
With trembling joy dilate Palemon's soul:
Hope lifts his heart, before whose vivid ray
Distress recedes, and danger melts away.
Already Britain's parent-cliffs arise,
And in idea greet his longing eyes!
Each amorous sailor too, with heart elate,
Dwells on the beauties of his gentle mate.
E'en they th' impressive dart of love can feel,
Whose stubborn souls are sheath'd in triple steel.

Nor less o'erjoy'd, perhaps with equal truth,
Each faithful maid expects th' approaching youth;
In distant bosoms equal ardours glow,
And mutual passions mutual joy bestow.
Tall Ida's summit now more distant grew,
And Jove's high hill was rising on the view,
When from the left approaching, they descry
A liquid column towering shoot on high.
The foaming base an angry whirlwind sweeps,
Where curling billows rouse the fearful deeps.
Still round and round the fluid vortex flies,
Scattering dun night and horror thro' the skies.
The swift volution and th' enormous train
Let sages vers'd in nature's lore explain!
The horrid apparition still draws nigh,
And white with foam the whirling surges fly!
The guns were prim'd; the vessel northward veers,
Till her black battery on the column bears.
The nitre fir'd; and while the dreadful sound,
Convulsive, shook the slumbering air around;
The wat'ry volume, trembling to the sky,
Burst down a dreadful deluge from on high!
Th' affrighted surge, recoiling as it fell,
Rolling in hills disclos'd th' abyss of hell.
But soon, this transient undulation o'er,
The sea subsides; the whirlwinds rage no more.
While southward now th' increasing breezes veer,
Dark clouds incumbent on their wings appear.
In front they view the consecrated grove
Of cypress, sacred once to Cretan Jove.
The thirsty canvas, all around supply'd,
Still drinks unquench'd the full aërial tide.
And now, approaching near the lofty stern,
A shoal of sportive dolphins they discern.
From burnish'd scales they beam refulgent rays,
'Till all the glowing ocean seems to blaze.
Soon to the sport of death the crew repair,
Dart the long lance, or spread the baited snare.
One in redoubling mazes wheels along,
And glides, unhappy! near the triple prong.
Rodmond unerring o'er his head suspends
The barbed steel, and every turn attends;
Unerring aim'd, the missile weapon slew,
And, plunging, struck the fated victim thro'.
Th' upturning points his ponderous bulk sustain;
On deck he struggles with convulsive pain.
But while his heart the fatal javelin thrills,
And flitting life escapes in sanguine rills,
What radiant changes strike th' astonish'd sight!
What glowing hues of mingled shade and light!
Not equal beauties gild the lucid west,
With parting beams all o'er profusely drest.
Not lovelier colours paint the vernal dawn,
When orient dews impearl th' enamell'd lawn,
Than from his sides in bright suffusion flow,
That now with gold empyreal seem to glow;
Now in pellucid sapphires meet the view,
And emulate the soft celestial hue;
Now beam a flaming crimson on the eye;
And now assume the purple's deeper dye.
But here description clouds each shining ray;
What terms of art can Nature's powers display?
Searching "soul" and "steel" in HDIS (Poetry)
Date of Entry

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