"Bid grief, that vulture to my breast, / Sharper than what Prometheus knows, / Avaunt! and leave the bard at rest."

— Derrick, Samuel

Place of Publication
Printed for the author; And sold by A. Millar
"Bid grief, that vulture to my breast, / Sharper than what Prometheus knows, / Avaunt! and leave the bard at rest."
Metaphor in Context
Bright guardians of the forked hill,
  Sprung from Mnemosyne and Jove,
With happy inspiration fill;
  Let me thy sacred rapture prove.

Pour your blest spirit o'er the page,
  Immortal foes of keen despair;
And while your services engage,
  Oh! snatch me from myself and care.

Bid grief, that vulture to my breast,
  Sharper than what Prometheus knows,
Avaunt! and leave the bard at rest
Grant, heav'nly maids, the wish'd repose.

'Tis done! aloof misfortunes stand!
  While ev'ry thought on you is bent;
You can the healing balm command,
  Which gives the troubled mind content.

But the wish'd blessing will not hold,
  For, oh! when I resign my pen,
Again, in mourning weeds behold!
  My woe-fraught genius come again.

To shield me from the gloomy scene,
  To Cowper's patronage I fly;
Nor evil then shall intervene,
  Nor heave the heart-extorted sigh.

Merit yet never su'd in vain,
  When Cowper could extend his aid,
Whose life is one continued train
  Of virtues happily display'd.

Virtue! how seldom art thou known
  In gorgeous palaces to dwell;
You oftener elevate your throne
  Within the peasant's humble cell.

Thither nor wealth nor titles roam,
  To tempt the mind with gaudy glare,
For vice can never six her home
  In poverty's rough frigid air.

Various the forms that you assume,
  To regulate the active soul,
When the rais'd passions dare presume
  The check of reason to controul.

You teach us to avoid the shelves,
  Where else our happiness were lost,
If we, abandon'd to ourselves,
  On life's inconstant sea were tost.

You o'er our acts discretion pour,
  Adorn with unaffected grace;
As spring with a refreshing show'r
  Adds gayer bloom to nature's face.

When thro' infirmity or fear,
  The mind dejected falls from good,
Your presence but acknowledg'd near,
  It's innate strength's again renew'd.

Or if the emanating mind
  Superior soar to narrow rule ,
You with the ties of reason bind
  Ambition's slave, vain fortune's fool.

So, pilots all their canvas spread,
  To court the coy reluctant breeze,
When Thetis rears her dropping head,
  And smiling, smooths the furrow'd seas.

Or if loud storms the sky assail,
  And o'er the angry ocean sweep,
He quickly furls the flowing sail,
  Or ploughs with naked poles the deep.

Virtue immortal and divine,
  Surmounts the clouds of stormy fate;
Sickness and care and years combine,
  In vain, against her happy mate.

The God of War, with savage train,
  Pours quick destruction o'er the field;
Wealth, honours, pow'r resist in vain,
  Ev'n valour is compell'd to yield.

While virtue fix'd as either pole,
  Indignant views the rapid race,
Above each shock, and thro' the whole
  Maintains her own exalted place.

Diogenes, in tub immur'd,
  Laugh'd at the various turns of life,
By virtue of affliction cur'd,
  Fenc'd from calamity and strife.

This clears the vitiated sight
  From the false glare that shadows wealth,
Shews honours in a real light,
  And gives the mind internal health.

Thus optic glasses help the eye,
  By nature but imperfect made,
And seem to draw those objects nigh,
  That in the vale of distance fade.

What tho' a parent should neglect
  Her duty, thro' some false pretence,
Shall grief for that my soul infect,
  While I'm secure in innocence.

Shall I complain if Fortune frown,
  Curse the long day, or wish me dead,
When 'tis to ev'ry school-boy known,
  Homer sung ballads for his bread.

In virtue I'll a refuge find,
  A sure asylum from distress;
Virtue will nerve my ruffled mind,
  And fate may frown, tho' not oppress.

With Cowper dwells th' immortal maid,
  That lifts her votary to the skies,
Her shield is probity display'd,
  And peaceful happiness her prize.
Searching HDIS (Poetry)
Finding only 1 entry in ECCO and ESTC (1755).

See A Collection of Original Poems. By Samuel Derrick. (London: Printed for the Author; and sold by A. Millar, in the Strand, 1755). <Link to ECCO>
Date of Entry
Date of Review

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