"Oh! this dire whirl of thought--my brain's on fire."

— Murphy, Arthur (1727-1805)

Place of Publication
Printed for P. Vaillant
"Oh! this dire whirl of thought--my brain's on fire."
Metaphor in Context
Octar, they've made
Such desolation here--'tis drear and horrible!--
On yonder couch, soon as sleep clos'd my eyes,
All that yon mad enthusiastic priest
In mystic rage denounc'd, rose to my view;
And ever and anon a livid flash,
From conscience shot, shew'd to my aching sight
The colours of my guilt--
Billows of blood were round me; and the ghosts,
The ghosts of heroes, by my rage destroy'd,
Came with their ghastly orbs, and streaming wounds;
They stalk'd around my bed;--with loud acclaim
They call'd Zaphimri! 'midst the lightning's blaze
Heav'n roll'd consenting thunders o'er my head;
Strait from his covert the youth sprung upon me,
And shook his gleaming steel--he hurl'd me down,
Down headlong, down the drear--hold, hold! where am I?
Oh! this dire whirl of thought--my brain's on fire--
(V, pp. 77-8)
First performed April 21, 1759. 10 entries in ESTC (1759, 1761, 1763, 1772, 1787, 1797).

Text from The Orphan of China, A Tragedy, As It Is Perform'd at the Theatre-Royal, in Drury-Lane. (London: Printed for P. Vaillant, 1759).
Date of Entry

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