"Why, curst remembrance, wilt thou haunt my mind?"

— Chatterton, Thomas (1752-1770)

Place of Publication
"Why, curst remembrance, wilt thou haunt my mind?"
Metaphor in Context
Joyless I hail the solemn gloom,
Joyless I view the pillars vast and rude
Where erst the fool of Superstition trod,
In smoking blood imbrued
And rising from the tomb--
Mistaken homage to an unknown God.
Fancy, whither dost thou stray,
Whither dost thou wing thy way?
Check the rising wild delight--
Ah! what avails this awful sight?
Maria is no more!
Why, curst remembrance, wilt thou haunt my mind?
The blessings past are misery now;
Upon her lovely brow
Her lovelier soul she wore.
Soft as the evening gale
When breathing perfumes through the rose-hedged vale,
She was my joy, my happiness refined.
All hail, ye solemn horrors of this scene,
The blasted oak, the dusky green.
Ye dreary altars, by whose side
The druid-priest, in crimson dyed,
The solemn dirges sung,
And drove the golden knife
Into the palpitating seat of life,
When, rent with horrid shouts, the distant valleys rung.
The bleeding body bends,
The glowing purple stream ascends,
Whilst the troubled spirit near
Hovers in the steamy air;
Again the sacred dirge they sing,
Again the distant hill and coppice-valley ring.
Soul of my dear Maria, haste,
Whilst my languid spirits waste;
When from this my prison free,
Catch my soul, it flies to thee;
Death had doubly armed his dart,
In piercing thee, it pierced my heart.
Searching "haunt" and "mind" in HDIS (Poetry)
Chatterton, Thomas, Joseph Cottle, Robert Southey, and G. Gregory. The Works of Thomas Chatterton. London: T.N. Longman and O. Rees, 1803.
Date of Entry

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