1821 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Patrick Gordon

Joseph Robertson, in Lives of Scottish Poets (1821-22) 6:129.



PATRICK GORDON, author of the Famous Historie of the renouned and valiant Prince Robert, surnamed the Bruce, Kinge of Scotlande, and of sundrie other valiant knights, both of Scots and English, &c. printed at Dort in 1615, Edinburgh, 1718, and Glasgow, 1753; was author of another English poem, to which Drummond prefixed a panegyrical sonnet, entitled The Famous Historie of Penardo and Laissa, otherwise called the Warre of Love and Ambition; done in heroicke verse, Dort, 1615. "Rare to excess," Pinkerton. Both poems have been left incomplete. The History of Bruce is said, by Mr. A. Campbell, to possess great merit; but Dr. Irving, a more erudite critic, observes, "The work is copiously replenished with Scotticisms, and with expressions which violate every rule of grammar. It neither possesses the dignity of an epic poem, nor the authenticity of an historical narration. Propriety is totally disregarded: Christ and Jupiter are with matchless indecorum, grouped together." Dr. I. adds, however, that the poem, with all its faults, contains striking passages. Gordon wrote also a Latin work, entitled Neptunus Britannicus Corydonis, De Luctuoso Henrici et Elizabethae Hymenaeus; London, 1613, 4to.