1820 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Joseph Warton

Philip Warwick, in Memoirs; Morning Post (22 December 1820).



He was a delightful poet, a most elegant scholar, and an able critic. His conversation was rich and fluent, and displayed exhaustless stores of wit, pleasantry, and literary anecdotes. The following very sweet Address to Music, is a free translation of a chorus in the Medea of EURIPIDES. Dr. WARTON said, that he composed these verses while he was drawing on his boots:—

Queen of ev'ry moving measure,
Sweetest source of purest pleasure,
Music! why thy pow'rs employ
Only for the sons of joy:
Only for the smiling guests
At natal or at nuptial feasts?
Rather thy lenient numbers pour
On those whom secret griefs devour;
Bid be still the throbbing hearts
Of those whom death or absence parts:
And with some softly-whisper'd air,
Smooth the brow of dumb despair.

In his "Ode to Fancy," he has drawn a pathetic picture, which shows the originality of his genius:—

Haste, Fancy, from the scenes of Folly,
To meet the matron Melancholy;
Lead to some abbey's mould'ring tow'rs,
Where, to avoid cold wintry show'rs,
The naked beggar shiv'ring lies,
While whistling tempests round her rise,
And tremble lest the tott'ring wall
Should on her sleeping infants fall.