There are those "whom the traffic of their race / Has robb'd of every human grace; / Whose harden'd souls no more retain / Impressions Nature stamp'd in vain; / All that distinguishes their kind, / For ever blotted from their mind; / As streams, that once the landscape gave / Reflected on the trembling wave, / Their substance change, when lock'd in frost, / And rest, in dead contraction lost."

— Williams, Helen Maria (1759–1827)


Place of Publication
London
Publisher
Printed for T. Cadell
Date
1788
Metaphor
There are those "whom the traffic of their race / Has robb'd of every human grace; / Whose harden'd souls no more retain / Impressions Nature stamp'd in vain; / All that distinguishes their kind, / For ever blotted from their mind; / As streams, that once the landscape gave / Reflected on the trembling wave, / Their substance change, when lock'd in frost, / And rest, in dead contraction lost."
Metaphor in Context
Who, from his far-divided shore,
The half-expiring Captive bore?
Those, whom the traffic of their race
Has robb'd of every human grace;
Whose harden'd souls no more retain
Impressions Nature stamp'd in vain;
All that distinguishes their kind,
For ever blotted from their mind;
As streams, that once the landscape gave
Reflected on the trembling wave,
Their substance change, when lock'd in frost,
And rest, in dead contraction lost
;--
Who view unmov'd, the look, that tells
The pang that in the bosom dwells;
Heed not the nerves that terror shakes,
The heart convulsive anguish breaks;
The shriek that would their crimes upbraid,
But deem despair a part of trade.--
Such only, for detested gain,
The barb'rous commerce would maintain.
The gen'rous sailor, he, who dares
All forms of danger, while he bears
The BRITISH Flag o'er untrack'd seas,
And spreads it on the polar breeze;
He, who in Glory's high career,
Finds agony, and death are dear;
To whose protecting arm we owe
Each blessing that the happy know;
Whatever charms the soften'd heart,
Each cultur'd grace, each finer art,
E'en thine, most lovely of the train!
Sweet Poetry! thy heav'n-taught strain--
His breast, where nobler passions burn,
In honest poverty, would spurn
That wealth, Oppression can bestow,
And scorn to wound a fetter'd foe.
True courage in the unconquer'd soul
Yields to Compassion's mild controul;
As, the resisting frame of steel
The magnet's secret force can feel.
(pp. 13-6, ll. 209-247)
Provenance
Reading
Citation
Only 1 entry in ESTC (1788).

Helen Maria Williams, A Poem on the Bill Lately Passed for Regulating the Slave Trade (London: Printed for T. Cadell, 1788). <Link to ECCO><Link to facsimile edition in Google Books>
Date of Entry
09/02/2011

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