"O'er steely Breasts, oft soothing Prayers prevail"

— Dart, John (d. 1730); Tibullus (c. 54-19 B.C.)

Place of Publication
Printed by T. Sharpe, for W. Newton ... A. Bettesworth and J. Batley ... and W. Mears and T. Jauncy [etc.]
"O'er steely Breasts, oft soothing Prayers prevail"
Metaphor in Context
Hail! Care of God, for by a Rite divine,
The Gods assist the Bard in each Design.
Phoebus and Bacchus, and the sacred Nine.
But neither Bacchus, nor the learned Throng,
Can speak what Fate, next Hour, will bring along.
To me, alone the Laws of future Doom
Jove gave, and View of Ages yet to come:
Then take these Warnings which a God reveals;
Believe a God, and hear what Cynthius tells.
She who was always thy peculiar Care,
Then whom not Daughters, Mothers held so dear:
Not with such Passion eagerest Youths are mov'd,
Nor with such Passion tenderest Maids belov'd;
For whom you weary all the Gods with Pray'r.
And every Day is spent in Fear for her:
And when still Sleep his Sable Mantle throws,
To veil your Eyes, and urge a still Repose.
She in your Sleep arises to your Sight,
And fills with vain fantastick Dreams, the Night.
That she who in thy Verse is made divine,
Neæra nam'd in every sounding Line:
That celebrated she, with all her Charms,
Begins to languish for another's Arms.
Thy former Passion to her Mind is lost,
That Mind is now with different Passions tost;
She fir'd with other Flames, about does rove,
Detests her quiet House, and seeks another Love.
Ah! cruel Sex, a Name to Faith unknown,
May they be curs'd who any have undone.
But she may change, the Sex for Change is fam'd,
By Faith and stretch'd out Arms she'll be reclaim'd;
For cruel Love instructs us to sustain
Vast Toils, and slight the Labour and the Pain.
He! cruel Love, directs us by his Care,
His Lash, and smarting Scourge content to bear.
There's more than Fiction in the Tale you've heard
Of me, how once I kept Admetus' Herd.
My Vocal Shell could then no Pleasure bring,
Nor sang I measure to the sounding String;
But with an Oaten Pipe was wont to rove,
Ev'n I, Latona's Son, and Progeny of Jove.
Fond Youth! you know not Love if e'er you fear
A Mistress' Frowns, and heavy Yoak to bear.
Nor doubt that tender Blandishments will fail.
O'er steely Breasts, oft soothing Prayers prevail.
What others do from Oracles believe,
Do thou more sure from my own Lips receive;
For Delius says, Neæra will be kind,
Nor more with various Passions change her Mind
For different Men: When this the God had said
I 'woke, and from my Eyes the Slumbers fled.
Searching "soul" and "steel" in HDIS (Poetry)
Date of Entry

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