"Our mind's unhelm'd, our attributes decay--"

— Williams, John [pseud. Anthony Pasquin] (1754-1818)

Place of Publication
Printed by M. Swinney
"Our mind's unhelm'd, our attributes decay--"
Metaphor in Context
My recollection portrays all the past,
The bliss was sure too exquisite to last:
When Henry's supplication fill'd my days,
And every echo warbled Gabrielle's praise;
Train'd from my reason's dawn in noble deeds,
I sung of Virtue, and I sought her meeds:
My pliant fancy yielded to embrace
Those laws of honor, which upheld my race:
Oh! hesitate, ye generous nymphs, I pray,
Ere ye condemn the tenor of my lay.
Knew ye the sorcery that freights his tale,
Alas, you'd marvel not that men prevail!
A king, a hero, brilliant, wise and great,
Who seems the favor'd delegate of fate;
When such assail the melting virgin's breast,
Love is all-governing, and fear a jest.
With soft solicitude, with matchless charms,
He came, he woo'd, he won me to his arms!
So regal Jove his tender wishes told,
When the high ruler found Alcmena cold--
He swore his love should with his being last,
But scarce was sworn before that love was past:
Such vows, like poppies, mid the golden grain,
Tho' gay, are worthless, tho' alluring, vain:
When Passion's tides thro' mans' strong art'ries roar,
His heart resists them like a flinty shore;
But our frail frames, like mould'ring banks, give way,
Our mind's unhelm'd, our attributes decay--
His bright, his keen, his fascinating eyes,
Like wond'rous basilisks seduce their prize.
Go not, ye nymphs, you'll perish if you gaze,
For necromancy warms their weakest blaze!
If in the vortex of his arts you're found,
Your agency will die, your sense run round.
There Ruin's baneful circles never cease,
Till central potency ingulphs your peace!
(cf. pp. 24-5 in 1788 printing)
Searching in HDIS (Poetry); confirmed in ECCO
Only 1 entry in ESTC (1788).

See A Poetic Epistle, from Gabrielle D'estrees, to Henry the Fourth. By Anthony Pasquin, Esq. (Birmingham: Printed by M. Swinney; for G. G. & J. Robinson, and J. Strahan, Strand, London. (entered at Stationer's-Hall.), [1788?]). <Link to ESTC>

Text from Poems: By Anthony Pasquin. 2nd edition (London and Edinburgh: Printed for J. Strahan ... and the Author; W. Creech, 1789).
Date of Entry

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