We may like on our fled soul, like a "mother wild" on an "infant child" in an "eagle's claws"

— Keats, John (1795-1821)

We may like on our fled soul, like a "mother wild" on an "infant child" in an "eagle's claws"
Metaphor in Context
Hence Burgundy, Claret, and Port,
  Away with old Hock and Madeira,
Too earthly ye are for my sport;
  There's a beverage brighter and clearer.
Instead of a pitiful rummer,
My wine overbrims a whole summer;
  My bowl is the sky,
  And I drink at my eye,
  Till I feel in the brain
  A Delphian pain--
Then follow, my Caius! then follow:
  On the green of the hill
  We will drink our fill
  Of golden sunshine,
  Till our brains intertwine
With the glory and grace of Apollo!
  God of the Meridian,
    And of the East and West,
  To thee my soul is flown,
    And my body is earthward press'd.--
  It is an awful mission,
  A terrible division;
And leaves a gulph austere
To be fill'd with worldly fear.
Aye, when the soul is fled
To high above our head,
Affrighted do we gaze
After its airy maze,
As doth a mother wild,
When her young infant child
Is in an eagle's claws
And is not this the cause
Of madness?--God of Song,
Thou bearest me along
Through sights I scarce can bear:
O let me, let me share
With the hot lyre and thee,
The staid Philosophy.
Temper my lonely hours,
And let me see thy bowers
More unalarm'd!
(ll. 1-16, 1-25, p. 168-9)
Keats, John. Complete Poems. Ed. Jack Stillinger. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1982.
Date of Entry

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