1720 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Yalden

Giles Jacob, in Historical Account of the Lives and Writings of our most considerable English Poets (1720) 238-41.



An eminent Divine, now living, born in the City of Exon [Exeter], and the youngest of six Sons of Mr. John Yalden of Sussex. He was educated in the Grammar-School belonging to Magdalen-College in Oxford. In the Year 1690. he was admitted a Commoner of Magdalen-Hall, under that excellent Tutor and great Master of Logick Mr. John Pullen; and the following Year he was Scholar of Magdalen-College. Here he became a Fellow-Pupil with the celebrated Mr. Addison and Dr. Henry Sacheverel, and early contracted a particular Intimacy and Friendship with those two Gentlemen. This Academical Affection, I am inform'd, the late Mr. Secretary Addison preserv'd, not only Abroad in his Travels, but also on his Advancement to his considerable Employments at Home, and kept the same easy and free Correspondence with him to the very last, as when their Fortunes were more on a Level. The Year 1700. he was admitted actual and perpetual Fellow of Magdalen-College, and qualify'd himself the next Year, by taking Orders, as the Founder's Statutes require. After his Admission, he receiv'd two publick Marks of Favour from that Society: The first was a Presentation to a Living in Warwickshire, consistent with his Fellowship; and the other his being elected Moral Philosophy-Reader, an Office for Life, endow'd with a handsome Stipend, and peculiar Privileges. In 1706. he was receiv'd into the Family of his Noble and kind Patron the late Duke of Beaufort; with whom he was in great Favour, having in many Instances experienc'd his Bounty and Generosity. In the following Year he compleated his Academical Degrees, by proceeding Doctor in Divinity: He presented to the Society their Founder's Picture at full length, which now hangs up in the publick Hall; and afterwards he deliver'd in to the President a voluntary Resignation of his Fellowship and Moral-Philosophy-Lecture. He is at present Rector of Chalton and Cleanville, two adjoining Towns and Rectories in Hampshire. He has Prebends, or sine-Cures, the Deans, Hains, and Pendles in the County of Devon; and he was elected, by the President and Governors of Bridewell, Preacher of that Hospital, upon the Resignation of Francis present Lord Bishop of Rochester. His Residence in a noble Family recommended him to the Acquaintance of many of the best Quality and Character in the Kingdom; and by his chearful Temper, pleasing and instructive Conversation, extensive Learning, and good Manners, he has retain'd their Friendship and Esteem. His Poetical Works, in English Verse, are,

I. A Pindarick Ode, presented to King William on taking Namur.

II. The Temple of Fame. A Poem on the Death of the Duke of Gloucester.

III. On the late Queen's Accession to the Throne: A Poem. These are all excellent Pieces.

IV. Aesop at Court: Or, State Fables.

V. An Essay on the Character of Sir William Ashton; a Poem.

VI. On the Mines of Sir Carbery Price: A Poem occasion'd by the Mine-Adventure Company.

VII. On the Death of Mr. John Partridge, Professor in Leather and Astrology.

VIII. To Mr. Watson, on his Ephemeris of the Celestial Motions, presented to her late Majesty.

IX. Against Immoderate Grief.

X. The Force of Jealousy.

XI. An Ode for St. Cecilia's Day, 1693, compos'd by Dr. Purcel.

XII. A Hymn to the Morning, in Praise of Light: An Ode. This Piece has the following admirable Lines:

Parent of Day! whose beauteous Beams of Light
Spring from the darksome Womb of Night,
And midst their native Horrors show,
Like Gems adorning of the Negro's Brow.
Not Heaven's fair Bow can equal Thee,
In all its gaudy Drapery:
Thou first Essay of Light, and pledge of Day!
Rival of Shade, Eternal Spring! Still Gay!
From thy bright unexhausted Womb,
The beauteous Race of Days and Seasons come.
Thy Beauty Ages cannot wrong,
But 'spite of Time thou'rt ever young.
Thou art alone Heavens modest Virgin Light,
Whose Face a Veil of Blushes hides from human sight.
At thy Approach, Nature erects her head,
The smiling Universe is glad;
The drowsy Earth and Seas awake,
And from thy Beams, new Life and Vigour take.
When thy more chearful Rays appear,
Even Guilt and Women cease to fear:
Horror, Despair, and all the Sons of Night,
Retire before thy Beams, and take their hasty flight.
Thou risest in the fragrant East,
Like the fair Phoenix from her balmy Nest;
But yet thy fading Glories soon decay,
Thine's but a momentary Stay;
Too soon thou'rt ravisht from our sight,
Bore down the Stream of Day, and overwhelm'd with Light.
Thy Beams to their own Ruin haste,
They're fram'd too exquisite to last:
Thine is a glorious, but a short-liv'd State;
Pity so fair a Birth should yield so soon to Fate.

Besides these Pieces, this Gentleman has translated the second Book of Ovid's Art of Love (the first and third Books being done by Mr. Congreve and Mr. Dryden) with several other occasional Poems, and Translations, publish'd in the third, fourth, and fifth Volumes of Tonson's Miscellanies. The Medecin, a Tale in the second Volume of Tatlers, and Mr. Partridge's Appeal to the learned World, or a further Account of the manner of his Death, in Prose.