"'And these my sisters had not hearts of steel, / 'And might be griev'd at my delay"

— Hurdis, James (1763-1801)

Place of Publication
Printed for J. Johnson
"'And these my sisters had not hearts of steel, / 'And might be griev'd at my delay"
Metaphor in Context
"Then hear," said Gilbert. "To this spot I came,
"Intending hurt to none. From the loud surge
"But ill escap'd, and climbing the rude cliff
"Through a steep moulder'd gap, at a small hut
"Belonging to the fisher and his son,
"I found this suit, and chang'd it for my own
"All dripping wet. Soon as the tempest ceas'd
"I left the hut thus clad, and tow'rds the wood
"Came with all speed, well knowing these my friends
"And these my sisters had not hearts of steel,
"And might be griev'd at my delay
. I saw,
"Just as my weary feet had reach'd this spot,
"This lovely maid upon that bench asleep.
"I saw, and was refresh'd; but had not gaz'd
"A moment's space, ere yonder villain came,
"Thy friend; and I retir'd, and unperceiv'd
"Beheld the dev'lish antic at his wiles.
"I knew his purpose, (for the outward act
"Gives true assurance of the inward mind,)
"And burning with impatience stood awhile,
"Till he all passion seiz'd the helpless maid
"Alone and sleeping, and with touch profane
"Thought to have feasted on those crimson lips
"And that vermilion cheek. I sprung to help her
"And sure my arm had more than usual strength,
"For with one blow I fell'd him to the earth,
"And set the captive free. She fled alarm'd,
"And hardly stay'd to cast one thankful look
"On him who sav'd her--but that gracious smile
"Repays me well. The shameless villain rose,
"And, cursing me by ev'ry name above,
"Ran at my life. The second blow you saw,
"Which plung'd him headlong in the miry brook.
"And if an act like this can need defence,
"I stand prepar'd to give it; for be sure,
"Had it been Fred'rick I had done the same,
"And Fred'rick had deserv'd it."
Searching "heart" and "steel" in HDIS (Poetry)
At least 4 entries in ECCO and ESTC (1790, 1792, 1796).

See Adriano; or, the First of June, a Poem. By the Author of the Village Curate. (London: 1790). Link to ECCO>

Finding also in editions of Hurdis's Poems (Dublin, 1790; Philadelphia, 1796). Text from Poems: By the Rev. James Hurdis 3 vols. (Oxford: At the University Press for J. Parker; Messrs. Rivington and Messrs. Longman and Co., 1808).
Date of Entry

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