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Date: 1783

"While we listen to a discourse, or read a book, how often , in spite of all our care, does the fancy wander, and present thoughts quite different from those we have in view! "

— Beattie, James (1735-1803)

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Date: 1785

"[W]hen the mind is absent, and the thoughts are wandering to something else than what is passing in the place in which we are, we are often miserable"

— Paley, William (1743-1805)

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Date: 1789, 1792

"The tops of these scarce veil'd the roots of those; / A winding court where wandering fancy walk'd / And to herself responsive Echo talk'd."

— Brooke, Henry (c. 1703-1783)

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Date: 1794

"With shadowy trident how Volition guides, / Surge after surge, his intellectual tides; / Or, Queen of Sleep, Imagination roves / With frantic Sorrows, or delirious Loves."

— Bilsborrow, Dewhurst (fl. 1794)

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Date: February, 1798

"And what (I said) tho' blasphemy's loud scream / With that sweet music of deliv'rance strove; / Tho' all the fierce and drunken passions wove / A dance more wild than ever maniac's dream; / Ye storms, that round the dawning east assembled, / The sun was rising, tho' ye hid his light!"

— Coleridge, Samuel Taylor (1772-1834)

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Date: 1800

"The pen is a pacifyer. It checks the mind's career; it circumscribes her wanderings."

— Brown, Charles Brockden (1771-1810)

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Date: 1803

"Ah, how the human mind wearies herself / With her own wanderings, and, involved in gloom / Impenetrable, speculates amiss!"

— Cowper, William (1731-1800)

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Date: 1814, 1816, 1896

"Solicit Fancy from celestial flights, / To wander o'er the World for frail delights / And crowd Imagination's rooms, immense, / With what relates alone to Time and Sense!"

— Woodhouse, James (bap. 1735, d. 1820)

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Date: 1820

"And we breathe, and sicken not, / The atmosphere of human thought: / Be it dim, and dank, and gray, / Like a storm-extinguished day, / Travelled o'er by dying gleams; / Be it bright as all between / Cloudless skies and windless streams, / Silent, liquid, and serene; / As the birds within the win...

— Shelley, Percy Bysshe (1792-1822)

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Date: 1850

"No familiar shapes / Remained, no pleasant images of trees, / Of sea or sky, no colours of green fields; / But huge and mighty forms, that do not live / Like living men, moved slowly through the mind / By day, and were a trouble to my dreams."

— Wordsworth, William (1770-1850)

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