1806 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry Kirke White

Capel Lofft, December 1806; Monthly Magazine 23 (February 1807) 48-49.



It was not Henry Kerbe but Henry Kirke White, who died at St. John's Cambridge, on the 19th of October last. He was born on the 21st of March 1785. He is justly characterized by one of the first Poets of this age, as a truly original Poetic genius. His application to science and literature was almost unexampled: and his proficiency during his short career of life, was as most fully answerable. A fever intercepted, as to this world, the fairest and highest promises, and took off this admirable youth in a very few days. His Poems have been printed in a small octavo. His Manuscripts are in his brother's hands, and whatever may be found in a state for publication, will, I feel convinced, be laid before the public in a manner worthy of the person who has charged himself with this office of affectionate respect to his memory. To me he was known only by correspondence. I cannot even say, Vidi tantum. Imagination, energy, and tenderness of feeling, and appropriate diction, he possest in a high degree, with much dignity of numbers and beauty of cadence. From his profile, with which I am favoured by his brother, his countenance appears to have been of a very noble and amiably expressive character.