"'Fear not,' he said, 'Sweet innocence! thou stranger to offence, / And inward storm!'"

— Thomson, James (1700-1748)

Work Title
Place of Publication
Printed for J. Millan
"'Fear not,' he said, 'Sweet innocence! thou stranger to offence, / And inward storm!'"
Metaphor in Context
So pass'd their life, a clear united stream,
By care unruffled; till, in evil hour,
The tempest caught them on the tender walk,
Heedless how far and where its mazes stray'd,
While, with each other blest, creative love
Still bade eternal Eden smile around.
Presaging instant fate, her bosom heaved
Unwonted sighs, and stealing oft a look
Of the big gloom, on Celadon her eye
Fell tearful, wetting her disorder'd cheek.
In vain assuring love, and confidence
In Heaven, repress'd her fear; it grew, and shook
Her frame near dissolution. He perceived
The unequal conflict, and as angels look
On dying saints, his eyes compassion shed,
With love illumined high. "Fear not," he said,
"Sweet innocence! thou stranger to offence,
And inward storm!
He, who yon skies involves
In frowns of darkness, ever smiles on thee
With kind regard. O'er thee the secret shaft
That wastes at midnight, or the undreaded hour
Of noon, flies harmless: and that very voice,
Which thunders terror through the guilty heart,
With tongues of seraphs whispers peace to thine.
'Tis safety to be near thee sure, and thus
To clasp perfection!" From his void embrace,
(Mysterious Heaven!) that moment, to the ground,
A blacken'd corse, was struck the beauteous maid.
But who can paint the lover, as he stood,
Pierced by severe amazement, hating life,
Speechless, and fix'd in all the death of woe!
So, faint resemblance! on the marble tomb,
The well-dissembled mourner stooping stands,
For ever silent and for ever sad.
(pp. 69-70 in Sambrook, pp. 68-9 in original)
Reading; text from C-H Lion
At least 7 entries in ESTC (1727, 1728, 1730, 1731, 1735, 1740). [Also issued as part of The Four Seasons, and Other Poems.]

Poem first published as Summer. A Poem. By James Thomson. (London: Printed for J. Millan, 1727). Second edition in 1728.

Text revised between 1727 and 1746. Searching text from The Poetical Works (1830), checked against earlier editions. Also reading James Sambrook's edition of The Seasons and The Castle of Indolence (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), which reproduces the 1746 edition of Thomson's poem.

Collected in The Seasons, A Hymn, A Poem to the Memory of Sir Isaac Newton, and Britannia, a Poem. By Mr. Thomson (1730). <Link to ECCO>
Date of Entry

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