"Just in that instant, anxious Ariel sought / The close Recesses of the Virgin's thought."

— Pope, Alexander (1688-1744)


Place of Publication
London
Publisher
Printed for Bernard Lintott
Date
1714 [1712, 1717]
Metaphor
"Just in that instant, anxious Ariel sought / The close Recesses of the Virgin's thought."
Metaphor in Context
But when to Mischief Mortals bend their Will,
How soon they find fit Instuments of Ill!
Just then, Clarissa drew with tempting Grace
A two-edg'd Weapon from her shining Case;
So Ladies in Romance assist their Knight,
Present the Spear, and arm him for the Fight.
He takes the Gift with rev'rence, and extends
The little Engine on his Fingers' Ends;
This just behind Belinda's Neck he spread
As o'er the fragrant Steams she bends her Head:
Swift to the Lock a thousand Sprights repair,
A thousand Wings, by turns, blow back the Hair;
And thrice they twitch'd the Diamond in her Ear,
Thrice she look'd back, and thrice the Foe drew near.
Just in that instant, anxious Ariel sought
The close Recesses of the Virgin's thought
;
As on the Nosegay in her Breast reclin'd,
He watch'd th' Ideas rising in her Mind,
Sudden he view'd, in spite of all her Art,
An Earthly Lover lurking at her Heart.
Amaz'd, confus'd, he found his Power expir'd,
Resign'd to Fate, and with a Sigh retir'd.
(pp. 230-1, III, ll. 125-46)
Provenance
Reading
Citation
First published in 1712, in Miscellaneous Poems and Translations, in two cantos [reissued in 1714]. Five-Canto version in 1714, with additions in 1717. At least 26 entries in ESTC (1714, 1715, 1716, 1718, 1720, 1722, 1723, 1729, 1751, 1758, 1762, 1777, 1790, 1792, 1794, 1798, 1799, 1800).

The Rape of the Lock. An Heroi-Comical Poem. In Five Canto's. Written by Mr. Pope. (London: Printed for Bernard Lintott, at the Cross-Keys in Fleetstreet, 1714). <Link to ESTC><Link to ECCO-TCP>

Reading The Poems of Alexander Pope, ed. John Butt (New Haven: Yale UP, 1963). Also, ed. Cynthia Wall, The Rape of the Lock (Boston and New York: Bedford Books, 1998).
Date of Entry
12/28/2009

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