1806 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Penrose

Peter L. Courtier, in Lyre of Love (1806) 2:35-36.



Thomas, son of the Rev. Mr. Penrose, who was descended from an ancient family in Cornwall, and officiated many years as rector of Newbury, in Berkshire, was born in 1743. Designed by his friends for the pulpit, he was entered at Christ Church, Oxford; whence, however, a passion for martial glory prompted him to escape, and embark in the expedition against South America, under Captain Macnamara, in August 1762. The verses to Miss Slocock, an accomplished and handsome young lady, residing at Newbury, were written by him on board the Ambuscade, January 6, 1763; a short time before the attack on Nova Colonia, in the river of Plate. Such a situation not merely supersedes the investigation of literary inaccuracies; it exhibits the affection and fortitude of the writer, in a very elevated point of admiration.

Returning to England, Penrose finished his studies at Hertford; and, having accepted the curacy of Newbury, in 1768 united himself in marriage with Miss S. Part of the hymeneal, presented to her on their wedding-day, is not unworthy of transcription

O! be that season ne'er forgot
When hope itself could flatter not,
When doubts were all my soul's employ,
Nor dar'd I paint the present joy!
But yet, my Love! be mine the blame;
Thy goodness ever was the same.
What though by heedless heat misled,
To war, and foreign climes, I fled;
Forsook thy love, and peaceful ease
And plough'd, long plough'd the southern seas.
Yet, though unworthy of thy care,
Thy kind dear love pursued me there
And, midst the battle's horrid strife,
Thy tender prayer preserv'd my life.

Some years afterwards, Penrose was advanced to a rectory worth 500 per annum: but preferment came too late. He died in 1779, in the 36th year of his age, at Bristol, whither he had repaired for the amendment of his health.