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- 1610–1611, William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene ii], page 3:
- Ariell: […] all but Mariners / Plung'd in the foaming bryne, and quit the veſſell ; / Then all a fire with me the Kings ſonne Ferdinand / With haire vp-ſtaring (then like reeds, not haire) / Was the firſt man that leapt ; cride hell is empty, / And all the Diuels are heere.
- 1856, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh, New York: C.S. Francis & Co., 1857, Seventh Book, p. 275:
- […] Earth’s crammed with heaven, / And every common bush afire with God:
- 1931, Nacio Herb Brown and Gordon Clifford, “Paradise” (song first sung by Pola Negri and later covered by Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra):
- Her eyes afire / With one desire. / Then a heavenly kiss: / Could I resist?
- 1950, Mervyn Peake, Gormenghast, London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, Chapter 63:
- Old claw-like hands, cracked with long years of thankless toil, would hold aloft a delicate bird of wood, its wings, as thin as paper, spread for flight, its breast afire with a crimson stain.
literally on fire
metaphorically on fire