""All Aetna's Caves strove in his lab'ring Soul, / And Stygian Tempests in his veins did rowl""

— Blackmore, Sir Richard (1654-1729)

Place of Publication
Printed for Awnsham and John Churchil and Jacob Tonson
""All Aetna's Caves strove in his lab'ring Soul, / And Stygian Tempests in his veins did rowl""
Metaphor in Context
She said. And from her odious head she tore
A chosen Viper swoln with pois'nous Gore,
She prest and grip'd him hard, and slash'd him thrice
Against the ground, to make his fury rise.
Then with a nimble hand the twining Beast
She secretly directed to his Breast.
Which pass'd as swiftly as a Parthian Dart,
Or pointed flame of Light'ning to his Heart.
Where while she fixt her Teeth, into the Wound
She prest out all th'envenom'd Juices found
In yellow Cells, wherewith her Jaws abound.
The secret Plague with which his heart was stung
Close to his Life in chill Embraces Clung.
A shiv'ring horror thro' his Vitals struck,
And every Limb with strong Convulsions shook.
The cold to heat no less excessive turn'd,
And with a suddain Fire the Briton burn'd.
All Ætna's Caves strove in his lab'ring Soul,
And Stygian Tempests in his veins did rowl
His panting Heart threw out a boiling tide,
And circulating flames their winding Channels fry'd.
Distracting fury all the Man possest,
And Agonys of rage o'erwhelm'd his Breast.
Taking long strides sometimes he Slowly stalk'd,
And then Distracted rather ran, than Walk'd.
Oft stopping on a suddain would he stand
Striking his Breast, and stamping on the Sand.
Sometimes his Eyes were fixt upon the Ground,
Then starting up he wildly star'd around.
He bit his Lips, and with his Hands did tear
From his distemper'd Head his curling Hair.
Death! Heav'ns! 'tis so. Ungrateful Man. Abus'd.
Were broken Forms of Speech his Passion us'd.
Then on his mighty Sword he laid his Hand,
And mutt'ring to himself did threatning stand.
So when a Bull nodding his brindled Head,
And softly bellowing traverses the Mead,
While the warm Sun darts his indulgent Beams,
And most refines the Earth's exhaling Steams;
If then he finds th'invading Hornet cling,
Close to his Flank, and feels the poison'd Sting,
The wounded Beast enrag'd, and roaring out
Whisks round his Tail, and flings, and flys about:
Mad with th'adhering Plague's tormenting Pain,
He Scares the Herds, and raving scowrs the Plain.
Searching in HDIS (Poetry)
2 entries in ESTC (1697).

First published in 1695 in ten books as Prince Arthur. Reprinted 1696, 1714.

See Richard Blackmore. King Arthur, An Heroick Poem. In Twelve Books. By Richard Blackmore. To which is Annexed, An Index, Explaining the Names of Countrys, Citys, and Rivers, &c. (London: Printed for Awnsham, John Churchil, and Jacob Tonson, 1697). <Link to ESTC>
Date of Entry

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