"Thus our young lord, with fashion's phrase refin'd, / Fineer'd the mean interior of his mind"

— Hayley, William (1745-1820)

Place of Publication
Printed for J. Dodsley
"Thus our young lord, with fashion's phrase refin'd, / Fineer'd the mean interior of his mind"
Metaphor in Context
As the neat daisy to the sun's broad flower,
As the French boudoir to the Gothic tower,
Such is the peer, whom fashion much admires,
Compar'd in person to his ancient sires:
For their broad shoulder, and their brawny calf,
Their coarse, loud language, and their coarser laugh,
His finer form, more elegantly slim,
Displays the fashionable length of limb:
With foreign shrugs his country he regards,
And her lean tongue with foreign words he lards;
While Gallic Graces, who correct his style,
Forbid his mirth to pass beyond a smile.
As the nice workman in the wooden trade,
Hides his coarse ground, with finest woods o'erlaid,
Thus our young lord, with fashion's phrase refin'd,
Fineer'd the mean interior of his mind:

And hence, in courtesy's soft lustre seen,
His spirit shone, as graceful as his mien.
The artless fair, on fashion's kind report,
Thought him the mirror of a matchless court:
Much she his dress, his language much observes,
Whose finer accents prove his feeling nerves.
Her fancy now the destin'd lover spies,
But her free heart abjures the quick surmise;
Yet as he spoke, at every flattering word
The vision's promise to her thought recurr'd.
Far more parental pride contrives to blind
The good Sir Gilbert's more-experienc'd mind,
Who fondly saw, and at the prospect smil'd,
A future countess in his favourite child.
But what new flutterings shook Serena's breast,
What hopes and fears the modest nymph opprest,
When with a simpering smile, and soft regard,
The peer display'd a mirth-expressive card,
Where the gay Graces, in a sportive band,
Shew the sweet art of Cipriani's hand;
Where, in their train, his airy Cupids throng,
And laughing drag a comic mask along!
"We," cries my lord, with self-sufficient joy,
Twirling, with lordly airs, the graceful toy,
"We, who possess true science, we, who give
The word a lesson in the art to live,
We for the fair a splendid fête design,
And pay our homage thus at Beauty's shrine."
He spoke; and speaking, to the blushing maid,
With modish ease, th' inviting card convey'd,
Where Mirth announc'd her masque-devoted hour
In characters intwin'd with many a flower:
The blushing maid, with eyes of quick desire,
View'd it, and felt her little soul on fire;
For of all scenes she had not yet survey'd,
Her heart most panted for a masquerade:
But her gay hopes increasing terrors drown,
And dread forebodings of her father's frown.
In mute suspence to read his thought she tries,
And strongly pleads with her prevailing eyes,
Her eyes, for doubt enchain'd her modest tongue,
While on his sovereign word her pleasure hung.
With such a tender, and persuasive air
Of soft endearment, and of anxious care,
Thetis attended from th' almighty sire
His fateful answer to her fond desire:
The good old knight, like the Olympian god,
Blest the fair suppliant with his gracious nod;
Her lively spirit the kind signal took,
And her glad heart in every fibre shook.
The party settled, it imports not how,
The peer politely made his parting bow:
The nymph, with eyes that sparkled joyous fire,
Kiss'd the round cheek of her complying sire,
Then swiftly flew, and summon'd to her aid
Th' important counsel of her favourite maid,
To vent her joy, and, as the moments press,
To fix that first of points, a fancy-dress.
Searching "mind" and "interior" in HDIS (Poetry)
Ten entries in ESTC, London editions (1781, 1782, 1784, 1788, 1793).

First published as The Triumphs of Temper; A Poem: In Six Cantos. (London: Printed for J. Dodsley, 1781). <Link to ECCO><Link to 2nd edition in Google Books>

Text from new edition of Hayley's Poems and Plays, 6 vols. (London: T. Cadell, 1788).
Date of Entry

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