"Then, gentle Muse, be still my Guest; / Take full Possession of my Breast."

— Barker, Jane (1675-1743)

Place of Publication
Printed for E. Curll and T. Payne
"Then, gentle Muse, be still my Guest; / Take full Possession of my Breast."
Metaphor in Context
Cease, prithee, Muse, thus to infest
The barren Region of my Breast,
Which never can an Harvest yield,
Since Weeds of Noise o'er-run the Field.
If Interest wont oblige thee to it,
At least let Vengeance make thee do it;
'Cause I thy Sweets and Charms oppose,
In bidding Youth become thy Foes.
But nought, I see, will drive thee hence,
Threats, Business, or Impertinence.
But still thou dost thy Joys obtrude
Upon a Mind so wholly rude,
As can't afford to entertain
Thee, with the Welcome of one Strain.
Few Friends, like thee, wou'd be so kind,
To come where Interest does not bind;
[Page 66]
And fewer yet return again,
After such Coldness and Disdain.
But thou, kind Friend, art none of those;
Thy Charms thou always do'st oppose
Against Inquietude of Mind;
If I'm displeas'd, still thou art kind;
And with thy Spells driv'st Griefs away,
Which else wou'd make my Heart their Prey.
And fill'st their empty Places too,
With Thoughts of what we ought to do.
Thou'rt to my Mind so very good,
Its Consolation, Physick, Food.
Thou fortify'st it in Distress;
In Joy augment'st its Happiness:
Inspiring me with harmless Rhimes,
To praise good Deeds, detest all Crimes.
Then, gentle Muse, be still my Guest;
full Possession of my Breast.
(pp. 65-6)
Searching in HDIS (Prose)
Only one entry in the ESTC (1723).

A Patch-Work Screen for the Ladies; or Love and Virtue Recommended: In a Collection of Instructive Novels. Related After a Manner Intirely New, and Interspersed with Rural Poems, describing the Innocence of a Country-Life. By Mrs. Jane Barker, of Wilsthorp, near Stamford, in Lincolnshire (London: Printed for E. Curll and T. Payne, 1723.) <Link to ECCO> <Link to Google>
Date of Entry

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