Country's love may be a ruling passion

— Cumberland, Richard (1732-1811)

Place of Publication
Printed for G. and W. Nicol ... by W. Bulmer [etc.]
Country's love may be a ruling passion
Metaphor in Context
Let cynic pride with supercilious air,
Arraign the venial failings of the fair;
To night with juster aim our Poet shews
In female hearts what genuine virtue glows.
Not that stern passion, that unlovely flame,
Which sear'd the bosom of the Spartan dame,
Who saw, nor shed one sad maternal tear,
Her slaughter'd son extended on the bier:
Then cold and careless press'd the nuptial bed,
Or to her couch the casual stranger led;
And dead to each soft feeling, ask'd from fate
Another boy, to perish for the State.
Round British nymphs more winning graces move,
They melt with pity, and they glow with love.
Yet while their bosoms own the tender fire,
Their generous minds can check each fond desire;
The promis'd joy with patriot zeal forego,
Nor own a lover in their country's foe.
Nor, Britons, you our moral scenes despise,
Still from the Stage does true instruction rise.
Let no mean thought your ardent souls engage,
Nor party rancour, nor religious rage;
But all alike with generous warmth embrace,
Whose kindred virtues speak their British race:
In every age, in every state we find,
One passion govern every gallant mind.
Tho' wealth allure, tho' just resentment move,
That ruling passion is their country's love.

Then rush, united! midst the war's alarms,
And face, unmov'd, the hostile world in arms.
Lives there a youth will shun the noble strife,
Or doubt in such a cause to stake his life,
Who hears me now the glorious prize proclaim,
His mistress' favour, and his country's fame
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Ruling passion
Date of Entry

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