ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Christopher Smart

(1722-1771)


Christopher Smart studied at Durham Grammar School (1733-39) before enrolling in Pembroke College Cambridge as a sizar in 1739 (B.A. 1744, Fellow 1745-53, M.A. 1747); at Cambridge he edited The Student (1750-51) and five times won the Seatonian Prize. In 1755 Smart left to pursue a literary career in London where he was a friend of Samuel Johnson, Dr. Burney, and John Newbery. As "Mother Midnight" Smart edited The Midwife (1751-53); he was co-editor of the Universal Visitor (1756-59). Smart was confined to Bedlam in 1751 and 1763 and spent his later years living in poverty.


TEXT RECORDS:

1744 ca.Secular Ode. On the Jubilee at Pembroke College, Cambridge, in 1743.
1747To the unknown Author of, War, an Epic Satire, publish'd last Month.
1748The Rural Day. In Three Parts.
1750The Speech of an old Oak to an extravagant young Heir as he was going to be cut down.
1752Epithalamium.
1756Hymn to the Supreme Being, on recovery from a dangerous Fit of Illness.
1756Some Account of the Life of Edmund Spenser.
1756[Untitled, "To Chaucer! who the English tongue design'd."]
1763Ode to General Draper.

PUBLICATIONS:

The student, or Oxford and Cambridge monthly miscellany [ed. Smart]. 2 vols, 1750-51.
The Horatian canons of friendship: being the third satire of the first book of Horace imitated. 1750.
On the eternity of the Supreme Being. 1750.
A solemn dirge, sacred to the memory of Frederic, Prince of Wales. 1751.
The nut-cracker. 1751.
On the immensity of the Supreme Being. 1751.
An index to mankind: or maxims selected from the wits of all nations. 1751.
Poems on several occasions. 1752.
The Muses banquet: or a present from Parnassus [ed. Smart]. 2 vols, 1752.
On the omniscience of the Supreme Being. 1752.
Be merry or be wise: or the cream of the jests, and the marrow of maxims, for the conduct of life [ed. Smart]. 1753.
The Hilliad: an epic poem. 1753.
Mother Midnight's comical pocket-book [Smart?]. 1753.
On the power of the Supreme Being. 1756.
A collection of poems for the amusement of children six foot high [ed. Smart]. 1756.
A collection of pretty poems for the amusement of children three feet high [ed. Smart]. 1756.
Hymn to the Supreme Being on recovery from a dangerous fit of illness. 1756.
The universal visitor and memorialist for the year 1756 [ed. Smart]. 1756.
The works of Horace, translated literally. 2 vols, 1756.
The nonpareil, or the quintessence of wit and humour. 1757.
Mrs Midnight's orations and other select pieces. 1763.
A song to David. 1763.
Poems, viz Reason and imagination: a fable; 3 other pieces. 1763.
Poems on several occasions. 1763.
Hannah: an oratorio. 1764.
Ode to the Right Honourable the Earl of Northumberland. 1764.
A poetical translation of the fables of Phaedrus. 1765.
A translation of the Psalms of David. 1765.
The works of Horace translated into verse. 4 vols, 1767.
Abimelech: an oratorio. 1768.
The parables of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, done into familiar verse, for the use of younger minds. 1768.
Hymns for the amusement of children. 1772.
Providence: an oratorio. 1777.
Poems. 2 vols, 1791.
A song to David. 1926.
Rejoice in the Lamb, ed. W. F. Stead. 1939.