"My Thoughts should like their Silver Fishes shine, / With quick, bright glitterings thro' each moving line."

— Hopkins, John (b. 1675)


Place of Publication
London
Publisher
Printed by Tho. Warren
Date
1700
Metaphor
"My Thoughts should like their Silver Fishes shine, / With quick, bright glitterings thro' each moving line."
Metaphor in Context
Such was Amphion, so his Airs could move,
That the stones danc'd to his soft Songs of Love.
Could I like Pow'r in Charming Numbers use,
(Charming indeed, since you inspire my Muse,)
Soon should your lofty Walls delight our view,
Like their Fair Mistress, high, and pleasing too.
Then should my Verse in softest measures flow,
Soft as those streams which gently glide below.
My Thoughts should like their Silver Fishes shine,
With quick, bright glitterings thro' each moving line.

Then might these Walks afford a Noble Theme.
When like the lovely Paphian Queen you seem,
Presiding here o'er your own Native stream.
Then might I sing how from these Walls, afar
Your Guns, and Eyes subdue in Love and War.
Sing, how we might along your dreaded shore,
Your light'nings view, and hear your thunder roar.
How, like a Goddess, from these Walls on high,
You see your Floods beneath spread out a watry Sky.
How justly those transcend the Silver Thames,
How your bright Eyes play on them with their Beams,
And so Love's Fires rise from the Silver streams.
How they would ne'er flow o'er the flowry meads,
Or any paths where their Fair Mistress treads.
Thus might I sing what thoughts the prospect yields,
Nymphs in the Rivers, Sylvans in the Fields;
Describe the flow'ry Banks, and spreading Groves;
Where Swains, and Virgins, tell their Mutual Loves.
But that the Walks, fond of what once they bore,
When they were Crown'd with your dear Feet no more,
Fell, to complain along the murm'ring shore.
And yet such greatness in their ruins lies,
Their fall, methinks, but makes my fancy rise.
So, when your Beauties (if that time can come)
Shall lose the Sweetness of their present bloom,
Ev'n your decays shall raise our wonder more,
Their Ebbs shall show the vastness of their store,
Which Charm'd Admirers Eyes who saw their tides before.
(pp. 58-9ll. 1-38)
Provenance
Searching "thought" and "silver" in HDIS (Poetry)
Citation
Amasia, or, The Works of the Muses. A Collection of Poems. In Three Volumes. By Mr. John Hopkins. (London: Printed by Tho. Warren, 1700). <Link to EEBO>
Date of Entry
06/03/2005

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