Fancy may stoop "to court the Aid of Sense, / Unable to conceive such Excellence!"

— Haywood [née Fowler], Eliza (1693?-1756)

Place of Publication
Printed for D. Browne Junr. and W. Chetwood
1723, 1725
Fancy may stoop "to court the Aid of Sense, / Unable to conceive such Excellence!"
Metaphor in Context
The Character of Myrtano; writ byIdalia, and found afterwards in her Closet.

Bright, lovely, graceful, are all Words below
What to Myrtano's Character we owe:
Divinely glorious! Godlike! speaks but Part!
He yet has Charms which nearer touch the Heart!
These, awful Wonder, and our Homage claim,
But there's a Sweetness Language cannot name:
A Soul-enchanting Softness (far above
The Reach of Thought, unknowing him to prove)
Dwells in his Air, amidst his Glories plays,
And tempers, not diminishes the Blaze.

HERE Fancy stoops to court the Aid of Sense,
Unable to conceive such Excellence!

Imagination may a Form create,
Correctly Lovely, and supremely Great;
But, Oh! how mean would that Idea be,
To what, indeed, is to be found in Thee!
Joy-mingled Wonder kindles at thy Sight,
And clothes our Admiration with Delight.

  AS Tapers languish at th' Approach of Day,
And by degrees melt slow their Shine away;
A while they glimmer with contracted Spires,
Trembling, unable to relax their Fires:
But when the Sun's broad Eye is open'd wide,
And Beams, thick flashing, shoot on every Side;
No more their emulative Force they try,
But quite o'erwhelm'd with Radiance sink, and die;
So those pale Lights, whose Glare late shar'd our Praise,
Are wholly lost in thy Almighty Blaze.
Eraz'd and blotted from the Book of Fame,
Her thousand Tongues swell with thy charmful Name:
No other Sound now strikes our ravish'd Ears,
No other Form in our glad View appears;
So fully o'er the Soul thy Influence reigns,
That not one Rebel-Thought thy Sway disdains.
Searching in HDIS (Prose)
5 entries in ESTC (1723, 1725, 1732, 1742).

See Idalia: or, The Unfortunate Mistress. A Novel. Written by Mrs. Eliza Haywood. (London: Printed for D. Browne junr. at the Black Swan, without Temple Bar ; W. Chetwood, in Russel-Street, Covent-Garden ; and S. Chapman, at the Angel in Pall-Mall, 1723). <Link to ESTC>

Text from Vol. 3 of Secret Histories, Novels and Poems. 4 vols, 2nd ed. (London Printed for Dan. Browne, Jun. and S. Chapman, 1725). <Link to ESTC><Link to LION>
Date of Entry

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