" Two men they were by storms of misery driven / To lose the soul's sheet anchor, trust in Heaven!"

— Hayley, William (1745-1820)

Place of Publication
Printed by and for J. Seagrave; And Sold by T. Payne
" Two men they were by storms of misery driven / To lose the soul's sheet anchor, trust in Heaven!"
Metaphor in Context
Kind Theodore, whose voice, divinely strong,
Gave force, and fervour to the friendly song,
Early, to guard their morrow from alarms,
Consign'd the lovers to each other's arms.
Brief was their blissful night: their hallow'd friend
Eager to bless, and cautious to defend,
Calls at the dawn his heaven-appointed charge:
Disguis'd they enter his departing barge,
And clad as pilgrims, with the priest their guide,
Grateful they launch upon a tranquil tide,
Ere Venice glitters in the morning blaze,
Her dusky towers the tender bride surveys;
With silent benediction hails the dome,
Whence Heaven directs her flight, her dangerous home!
And prays the letter, by her love addrest
To all the feelings of a father's breast,
May, when just reason calms a casual strife,
Preserve her still the darling of his life.
And if pure filial tenderness, and truth,
The genuine eloquence of artless youth,
If all, that nature, all that love can plead
To turn a parent from a barbarous deed;
If these strong charms were potent to assuage
The cruel passions of ambitious age,
Venusia's pen would, like celestial fire,
Have chac'd all evil from her alter'd sire.
But from his youth to wordly grandeur train'd,
Reckless of Heaven, whose guidance he disdain'd,
The fierce Donado, exercis'd in ill,
Measur'd all rights by his imperious will.
Warm with gay projects of illusive pride,
To make his daughter the rich dotard's bride,
In haste the keen Donado had return'd:
Venusia fled!--with instant rage he burn'd;
His rising fury scorn'd all mild controul,
And vengeance grew the passion of his soul;
Cunning and pride had many years possest
A joint dominion in Donado's breast;
Revenge now rose above them, like a flood;
The father thirsted for the lover's blood:
His daughter's letter, in her lord's behalf,
The savage, with a sanguinary laugh,
To atoms tore; and scattering in the air,
So wish'd the body of his foe to tear:
Yet subtle in his wrath, he would import
His vengeful wishes to Zanetti's heart.
The cold Zanetti catches not the fire,
That mounts so high in the vindictive sire.
Such want of sympathy inflam'd the more
The fierce Donado in his thirst of gore.
His frenzy spurns, whom once his flattery won,
Spurns, and abjures his ill-elected son.
Who, timely prudent, had resolv'd to spare
His age the pain to chace a flying fair;
And, with a cool good-nature, said, "his voice
Should give its sanction to Venusia's choice."
This rash attempt to soothe his recent ire
Added new fury to the furious sire;
With rage, unmollified by thought, or time,
He plans a deep, premeditated crime:
His own hot hand a selfish dread restrains;
Him, who can burst from pity, fear enchains.
But panting still for blood, he borrows aid
From wretches, who in murder madly trade;
Two prov'd assassins now engage for hire
To sate the vengeance of the ruthless sire;
Two men they were by storms of misery driven
To lose the soul's sheet anchor, trust in Heaven!

Lucio and Basil the dire pair were call'd;
Deaf to remorse! in perils unappall'd!
Together tost on life's tempestuous flood,
Darkly they plied their partnership of blood.
These men, from justice by Donado sav'd,
Pamp'ring the passion, that his heart enslav'd;
Engag'd, by bribes of lavish fury fed,
To shew him the abhorr'd Lucilio dead.
While these, in Venice, with close guilt conspire
To sate Donado's murderous desire,
Little aware with whom they were to cope,
Leading a blissful life of love, and hope,
The happy pair, in Milan, with delight
Hid their endearments from the public sight.
The trusty Theodore had plac'd his friends,
Where o'er them secrecy's broad shield extends.
In Milan skirts a little convent stood,
Rich in sweet gardens, and a circling wood:
The hallow'd chief of this sequester'd scene,
Allied to Theodore, here hop'd to screen
From every hostile eye the happy pair,
Dear to his heart, as grateful for his care.
A rural cot, remote from every road,
In these pure precincts was their blest abode;
And, only at the hour of early day,
They ventur'd in this little quire to pray.
Here stood an organ, not of loudest power,
Yet such, as sweeten'd calm devotion's hour;
On this devout Lucilio lov'd to raise
The notes of duty of his Maker's praise;
Improv'd in privacy his favourite art,
And thus pour'd forth the fervour of his heart.
Searching "mind" and "sheet" in HDIS (Poetry)
Text from The Triumph of Music; a Poem: in Six Cantos (Printed by and for J. Seagrave; And Sold by T. Payne, 1804). <Link to Google Books>
Date of Entry

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