1790 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Richard Polwhele

Richard Hole to Richard Polwhele, 1790 ca.; Polwhele, Traditions and Recollections (1826) 1:238-39.



DEAR SIR,

Dr. Downman yesterday called on me, and desired I would send you the Ode prefixed to Fingal, &c. which is inclosed. He said you had changed sexes with my ideal beings, in the Ode to Melancholy (strictly speaking, I believe, they are both feminine), and that in one of the first lines you had said,

—whom of yore,
To Grief, loose tressed Fancy bore.

I think Grief, unpersonified, follows just after, therefore recommend

—whom of yore,
To pensive Sorrow, Fancy bore.

Within about thirty or thirty-five lines of the conclusion of the Ode to Terror, is this passage,

Now they bid its pinions sweep
The raging billows: wide around
They foam, &c.

Would it not be better,

They bid its wings of darkness sweep
The raging billows:

Or,

Its outstretch'd wings in darkness sweep
The raging billows.

Yours sincerely,
R. H.