"Her charms unbind / The chains of love, or fix them on the mind."

— Dryden, John (1631-1700)

Work Title
Place of Publication
J. Tonson
"Her charms unbind / The chains of love, or fix them on the mind."
Metaphor in Context
There a Massylian priestess I have found,
Honoured for age, for magic arts renowned:
The Hesperian temple was her trusted care;
'Twas she supplied the wakeful dragon's fare.
She poppy-seeds in honey taught to steep,
Reclaimed his rage, and soothed him into sleep:
She watched the golden fruit. Her charms unbind
The chains of love, or fix them on the mind
She stops the torrents, leaves the channel dry,
Repels the stars, and backward bears the sky.
The yawning earth rebellows to her call,
Pale ghosts ascend, and mountain ashes fall.
Witness, ye gods, and thou my better part,
How loth I am to try this impious art!
Within the secret court, with silent care,
Erect a lofty pile, exposed in air:
Hang, on the topmost part, the Trojan vest,
Spoils, arms, and presents, of my faithless guest.
Next, under these, the bridal bed be placed,
Where I my ruin in his arms embraced.
All relics of the wretch are doomed to fire;
For so the priestess and her charms require."
Thus far she said, and further speech forbears.
A mortal paleness in her face appears:
Yet the mistrustless Anna could not find
The secret funeral, in these rites designed;
Nor thought so dire a rage possessed her mind.
(IV, ll. 698-724)
Searching "mind" and "chain" in HDIS (Poetry)
Text from The Works of John Dryden, 18 vols, Ed. George Saintsbury (Edinburgh and London: William Paterson, 1882-1892). Text available from Persius. Transcription also available in Chadwyck-Healey Full-Text Poetry Database (Cambridge, 1992).

See also The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Aeneis, trans. John Dryden (London: Printed for J. Tonson, 1697). <Link to EEBO><Link to 1709 edition Google Books edition>

Reading Virgil's Aeneid: Translated by John Dryden ed. Frederick M. Keener (New York: Penguin Books, 1997).
Date of Entry

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