1844 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edward Thurlow

Robert Chambers, in Cyclopaedia of English Literature (1844; 1850) 2:362.



EDWARD HOVEL THURLOW (Lord Thurlow) has published several small volumes of poetry: Select Poems (1821); Poems on Several Occasions; Angelica, or the Fate of Proteus; Arcita and Palamon, after Chaucer, etc. Amidst much affectation and bad taste, there is real poetry in the works of this nobleman. He was a source of ridicule and sarcasm to wits and reviewers — and not undeservedly; yet in pieces like the following there is a freshness of fancy and feeling, and a richness of expression, that resembles Herrick or Moore.

SONG TO MAY.
May! queen of blossoms,
And fulfilling flowers,
With what pretty music
Shall we charm the hours?
Wilt thou have pipe and reed,
Blown in the open mead?
Or to the lute give heed
In the green bowers?

Thou hast no need of us,
Or pipe or wire,
That hast the golden bee
Ripened with fire;
And many thousand more
Songsters, that thee adore,
Filling earth's grassy floor
With new desire.

Thou hast thy mighty herds,
Tame, and free livers;
Doubt not, thy music too
In the deep rivers;
And the whole plumy flight,
Warbling the day and night—
Up at the gates of light,
See, the lark quivers!

When with the jacinth
Coy fountains are tressed;
And for the mournful bird
Greenwoods are dressed,
That did for Tereus pine;
Then shall our songs be thine,
To whom our hearts incline:
May, be thou blessed!