1898 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry James Pye

Rowland E. Prothero, in Byron, Letters and Journals, ed. Rowland E. Prothero (1898-1901) 2:129n.



Henry James Pye (1745-1813) was, from 1790 to his death, poet laureate, in which post he succeeded Thomas Warton, and was followed by Southey. Mathias, in the Pursuits of Literature (Dialogue ii. lines 69, 70) says—

With Spartan Pye lull England to repose,
Or frighten children with Lenora's woes;

and again (ibid, lines 79, 80)—

Why should I faint when all with patience hear,
And laureat Pye sings more than twice a year?

His birthday odes were so full of "vocal groves and feathered choirs," that George Steevens broke out with the lines—

When the pie was opened, etc.

Pye's magnum opus was Alfred (1801), an epic poem in six books.