Virtue may be a man's "eternal flame" or "ruling passion"

— Blacklock, Thomas (1721-1791)

Place of Publication
London [etc.]
Rivington [etc.]
Virtue may be a man's "eternal flame" or "ruling passion"
Metaphor in Context
   DEAR madam, hear a suppliant's pray'r,
And on our bard your censure spare,
Whase bluntness slights ilk trivial care
        Of mock decorum:
Since for a bard its unko rare
        To look before him.

With joy to praise, with freedom blame,
To ca' folk by their Christian name,
To speak his mind, but fear or shame,
        Was at his fashion:
But virtue his eternal flame,
        His ruling passion.

This by-past time, as fame reports,
The author's Muse was out of sorts,
And in some freak, perhaps in dorts,
        Or ablins spleen:
She paid her visists at the shorts,
        An' lang between.

Searching "ruling passion" in HDIS (Restoration and C18)
Ruling Passion
Date of Entry

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