"Can / The stormy Passions in his Bosom rowl, / While every Gale is Peace, and every Grove / Is Melody?"

— Thomson, James (1700-1748)

Place of Publication
Printed and sold by A. Millar and G. Strahan
"Can / The stormy Passions in his Bosom rowl, / While every Gale is Peace, and every Grove / Is Melody?"
Metaphor in Context
STILL let my Song a nobler. Note assume,
And sing th' infusive Force of Spring on Man;
When Heaven and Earth, as if contending, vie
To raise his Being, and serene his Soul.
Can he forbear to smile with Nature? Can
The stormy Passions in his Bosom rowl,
While every Gale is Peace, and every Grove
Is Melody?
Hence, from the bounteous Walks
Of flowing Spring, ye sordid Sons of Earth,
Hard, and unfeeling of Another's Woe,
Or only lavish to Yourselves,—away.
But come, ye generous Breasts, in whose wide Thought,
Of all his Works, Creative Bounty, most,
Divinely burns; and on your open Front,
And liberal Eye, sits, from his dark Retreat
Inviting modest Want. Nor only fair,
And easy of Approach; your active Search
Leaves no cold wintry Corner unexplor'd,
Like silent-working Heaven, surprizing oft
The lonely Heart with unexpected Good.
For you the roving Spirit of the Wind
Blows Spring abroad, for you the teeming Clouds
Descend in buxom Plenty o'er the World,
And the Sun spreads his genial Blaze for you,
Ye flower of Human Race! In these green Days,
Sad-pining Sickness lifts her languid Head;
Life flows afresh; and young-ey'd Health exalts
The whole Creation round. Contentment walks
The Sunny Glade, and feels an inward Bliss
Spring o'er his Mind, beyond the Pride of Kings
E'er to bestow. Serenity apace
Induces Thought, and Contemplation still.
By small Degrees the Love of Nature works,
And warms the Bosom; till at last arriv'd
To Rapture, and enthusiastic Heat,
We feel the present Deity, and taste
The Joy of GOD, to see a happy World.
(pp. 44-6)
Text sourced from Oxford Text Archive at http://ota.ox.ac.uk/id/4109.

Poem first published Spring. A Poem. By Mr. Thomson (London: Printed and sold by A. Millar, at Buchanan's Head over-against St. Clement's Church in the Strand; and G. Strahan, at the Golden Ball in Cornhill, 1728). <Link to ECCO>

Text revised and expanded between 1728 and 1746. Searching text from The Poetical Works (1830), checked against earlier editions. Also reading James Sambrook's edition of The Seasons and The Castle of Indolence (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), which reproduces the 1746 edition of Thomson's poem.

Collected in The Seasons, A Hymn, A Poem to the Memory of Sir Isaac Newton, and Britannia, a Poem. By Mr. Thomson (1730). <Link to ECCO>
Date of Entry

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