Imagination may see shapes that "stir the poison in her heart of Spleen"

— Woodhouse, James (bap. 1735, d. 1820)

1814, 1816, 1896
Imagination may see shapes that "stir the poison in her heart of Spleen"
Metaphor in Context
He tried Conjecture's trackless region round,
To judge what phantasms Fancy might have found--
What Game the glances of her Hawks might trace,
Or Greyhounds view in visionary chace--
What shapes Imagination might have seen
To stir the poison in her heart of Spleen--

What Spectres mad Suspicion might behold
Pilfering her property, in goods, or gold--
What magic jaundic'd Jealousy might use
To rouze her wrath, and his fair fame abuse,
Extorting word, or action, indiscreet,
To lay him prostrate at her trampling feet--
What secret schemes her Malice might invent
To twist his conduct, and destroy Content;
Or plots and plans her Hatred might create
To stab his fortune, or to fix his Fate.
How hypocritic Art, with stale pretence,
Might frame some figment to curtail expence--
Prompt some proud speech which might offence afford,
Deserving banishment from bed and board,
And yield some plausibility to boast
His base behaviour push'd him from his post.
Poem first published in its entirety in 1896. The 1814 first edition receives notice in The New Monthly Magazine (March 1815); the poem was written "in the last century" (w. 1795-1820?).

Text from The Life and Poetical Works of James Woodhouse, ed. R. I. Woodhouse, 2 vols. (London: The Leadenhall Press, 1896). <Link to Hathi Trust> <Link to LION>
Date of Entry

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