"To her mind's eye a thousand ghosts appear, / The foolish apparitions of her fear."

— Fawkes, Francis (1720-1777); Menander (342-291 B.C.)

Place of Publication
1759, 1761
"To her mind's eye a thousand ghosts appear, / The foolish apparitions of her fear."
Metaphor in Context
Deep in the silence of the grassy plains,
Where Flora, drest in purple beauty reigns,
Ambrosial queen of flowerets sweet and fair;
Impregnated with vapours the thick air
Grows stagnant: here at frequent births transpire,
Profuse, the living particles of fire,
Which, from her lap, the Earth prolific flings,
The genial seeds, and origin of things:
These, long time ripening, oft as Titan's ray
Bright-burning blazes on the summer's day,
At length, emerging from the soil, repair,
And sport, capricious, in the fields of air:
Some, lightly mounting in th' etherial sky,
Expatiate freely, and in meteors fly:
Some, near the ground their vagrant course pursue,
And blend delusion with the nightly dew:
For whether from the strife of moist and dry,
Or from bitumen fiery sparkles fly,
A sudden flame the mingling vapours give,
Which seems, to mortal eyes, to move and live.
Lo! when the beauteous landskip fades in night,
In some irriguous valley, glimmering bright,
The false flame dances, or with quivering gleam,
Skims on the bosom of the winding stream,
Sports with the Naiads, and in wanton play,
Kisses the sisters of the watery way.
Now thro' the void the vain excursive light,
Fleet as the wind, precipitates its flight,
Unfix'd and volatile with instant bound
'Tis here, 'tis there, and roves the country round.
Oft as the darkling owl renews her song,
In lone church-yards it gleams, the mournful graves among.
Should some old hag slow hobbling hither tend,
She spies, no doubt, the fiery-flaming fiend;
To her mind's eye a thousand ghosts appear,
The foolish apparitions of her fear
Then all around tremendous tales are spread,
And the weak vulgar stand appall'd with dread;
For here they deem, depriv'd the golden light,
That spirits wander in the gloom of night;
Or that pale Proserpine, fierce-visag'd, comes
To number all the melancholy tombs,
And dreadful, as she frowns, the deadly dame
Shakes her dire torches tipt with livid flame.
(cf. vol. II, pp. 483-4 in 1759 ed.)
Searching "mind" and "eye" in HDIS (Poetry); confirmed in ECCO.
At least 2 entries in ECCO and ESTC (1759, 1761).

Text from Original Poems and Translations. By Francis Fawkes, M.A. (London: Printed for the author. And sold by R. and J. Dodsley, J. Newbery, L. Davis and C. Reymers, T. Davies, and by H. Dell, in Great Tower-Street, 1761). <Link to ESTC><Link to ECCO> [titled "Will with a Wisp"]

Found also in Miscellaneous Correspondence, Containing a Variety of Subjects... By Benjamin Martin. vol. 2 of 4 (London: Printed and sold by W. Owen, Temple-Bar, and by the Author, at his House in Fleet-Street, 1759), vol. ii, pp. 483-4. <Link to ESTC> [titled "Ignis Fatuus: Or, Will with a Wisp"]
Date of Entry

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