"No turbid passions in her breast ferment."

— Thomson, James (1700-1748)

Work Title
Place of Publication
Andrew Millar
"No turbid passions in her breast ferment."
Metaphor in Context
'The native Genii, round her, radiant smiled.
Courage, of soft deportment, aspect calm,
Unboastful, suffering long, and, till provoked,
As mild and harmless as the sporting child;
But, on just reason, once his fury roused,
No lion springs more eager to his prey:
Blood is a pastime; and his heart, elate,
Knows no depressing fear. That Virtue known
By the relenting look, whose equal heart
For others feels, as for another self:
Of various name, as various objects wake,
Warm into action, the kind sense within:
Whether the blameless poor, the nobly maim'd,
The lost to reason, the declined in life,
The helpless young that kiss no mother's hand,
And the grey second infancy of age,
She gives in public families to live,
A sight to gladden Heaven! whether she stands
Fair beckoning at the hospitable gate,
And bids the stranger take repose and joy:
Whether, to solace honest labour, she
Rejoices those that make the land rejoice:
Or whether to Philosophy, and Arts,
(At once the basis and the finish'd pride
Of government and life) she spreads her hand;
Nor knows her gift profuse, nor seems to know,
Doubling her bounty, that she gives at all.
Justice to these her awful presence join'd,
The mother of the state! no low revenge,
No turbid passions in her breast ferment:
Tender, serene, compassionate of vice,
As the last woe that can afflict mankind,
She punishment awards; yet of the good
More piteous still, and of the suffering whole,
Awards it firm. So fair her just decree,
That, in his judging peers, each on himself
Pronounces his own doom. O happy land!
Where reigns alone this justice of the free!
Mid the bright group Sincerity his front,
Diffusive, rear'd; his pure untroubled eye
The fount of truth. The thoughtful Power, apart,
Now, pensive, cast on earth his fix'd regard,
Now, touch'd celestial, launch'd it on the sky.
The Genius he whence Britain shines supreme,
The land of light, and rectitude of mind.
He, too, the fire of fancy feeds intense,
With all the train of passions thence derived:
Not kindling quick, a noisy transient blaze,
But gradual, silent, lasting, and profound.
Near him Retirement, pointing to the shade,
And Independence stood: the generous pair,
That simple life, the quiet-whispering grove,
And the still raptures of the free-born soul,
To cates prefer by Virtue bought, not earn'd,
Proudly prefer them to the servile pomp,
And to the heart-embitter'd joys of slaves.
Or should the latter, to the public scene
Demanded, quit his silvan friend awhile;
Nought can his firmness shake, nothing seduce
His zeal, still active for the commonweal;
Nor stormy tyrants, nor corruption's tools,
Foul ministers, dark-working by the force
Of secret-sapping gold. All their vile arts,
Their shameful honours, their perfidious gifts,
He greatly scorns; and, if he must betray
His plunder'd country, or his power resign,
A moment's parley were eternal shame:
Illustrious into private life again,
From dirty levees he unstain'd ascends,
And firm in senates stands the patriot's ground,
Or draws new vigour in the peaceful shade.
Aloof the bashful virtue hover'd coy,
Proving by sweet distrust distrusted worth.
Rough Labour closed the train: and in his hand
Rude, callous, sinew-swell'd, and black with toil,
Came manly Indignation. Sour he seems,
And more than seems, by lawless pride assail'd;
Yet kind at heart, and just, and generous, there
No vengeance lurks, no pale insidious gall:
Even in the very luxury of rage,
He softening can forgive a gallant foe;
The nerve, support, and glory of the land!
Nor be Religion, rational and free,
Here pass'd in silence; whose enraptured eye
Sees Heaven with earth connected, human things
Link'd to divine: who not from servile fear,
By rights for some weak tyrant incense fit,
The God of Love adores, but from a heart
Effusing gladness, into pleasing awe
That now astonish'd swells, now in a calm
Of fearless confidence that smiles serene;
That lives devotion, one continual hymn,
And then most grateful, when Heaven's bounty most
Is right enjoy'd. This ever cheerful Power
O'er the raised circle ray'd superior day.
(Part IV, ll. 479-573, pp. 103-6)
HDIS (Poetry)
At least 40 entries in ECCO and ESTC (1735, 1736, 1738, 1762, 1766, 1767, 1768, 1771, 1773, 1774, 1775, 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, 1784, 1787, 1788, 1790). [Published in The Works of the English Poets.]

Published in parts; complicated publication history. See Part 1: Antient and Modern Italy Compared: Being the First Part of Liberty, a Poem. By Mr. Thomson. (London: Printed for A. Millar, over-against St. Clement’s Church in the Strand, 1735). Part 2: Greece: Being the Second Part of Liberty, a Poem. By Mr. Thomson (London: Printed for A. Millar, 1735). Part 3: Rome: Being the Third Part of Liberty, a Poem. By Mr. Thomson (London: Printed for A. Millar, 1735). Part 4: Britain: Being the Fourth Part of Liberty, a Poem. By Mr. Thomson. (London: Printed for A. Millar, 1736). Part 5: The Prospect: Being the Fifth Part of Liberty. A Poem. By Mr. Thomson. (London: printed for A. Millar, 1736).

Text from The Poetical Works of James Thomson (London: William Pickering, 1830). <Link to LION>

Reading Liberty, The Castle of Indolence, and other Poems, ed. James Sambrook (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986).
Date of Entry

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