The heart may never feel a second flame

— Gray, Thomas (1716-1771)

T. J. Mathias
The heart may never feel a second flame
Metaphor in Context
Sailors to tell of winds and seas delight,
The shepherd of his flocks, the soldier of the fight;
A milder warfare I in verse display;
Each in his proper art should waste the day.
Nor thou my gentle calling disapprove:
To die is glorious in the bed of love.
Happy the youth, and not unknown to fame,
Whose heart has never felt a second flame.

Oh, might that envied happiness be mine!
To Cynthia all my wishes I confine;
Or if, alas! it be my fate to try
Another love, the quicker let me die.
But she, the mistress of my faithful breast,
Has oft the charms of constancy confessed,
Condemns her fickle sex's fond mistake,
And hates the tale of Troy for Helen's sake.
Me from myself the soft enchantress stole:
Ah! let her ever my desires control.
(ll. 59-76, pp. 45-6)
Ed. Roger Lonsdale. The Poems of Thomas Gray, William Collins, and Oliver Goldsmith (London and New York: Longman and Norton: 1972).
Date of Entry

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