Busy thought may paint "a thousand horrors"

— Cave [later Winscom], Jane (c.1754-1813)

Busy thought may paint "a thousand horrors"
Metaphor in Context
Whilst on the beach I stood, my courage fainted,
And busy thought a thousand horrors painted!
Stranger to each, and each to me was strange,
With none a kind 'Good-morrow' could exchange;
With pensive mind, whilst tears my cheeks bedewed,
Fierce Boreas, and a nymph immerged I viewed;
Langour and pain her timid looks express,
As by the women carried in to dress.
'Ah me!', I cried, 'to plunge into the main
Should I presume, this weak afflicted brain
Will grow deranged, and I shall die with pain!'
But some kind fair, impressed with sympathy,
Consoled my gries, and bade my sorrows flee;
Of whom, to practise what themselves had taught,
One plunged into the sea, with courage fraught;
Near thrice twice-told she dipped quite undismayed,
And then ascends to dress, nor asks for aid.
I chid my fears--my cowardice was nipped,
And next below the wave my head was dipped:
A strange sensation--in a second o'er,
And I quite braced, much happier than before;
When I bathe next, I'll have two dippings more.
(ll. 1-22, p. 377)

Lonsdale, R. Ed. Eighteenth Century Women Poets. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
Date of Entry

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