1787 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Warner

Henry Headley, in Select Beauties of Ancient English Poetry (1787; 1810) 2:148-49.



Milton's commentators have omitted remarking, that in the following passage he seems to have had an eye on Warner:

Thee bright-hair'd Vesta long of yore
To solitary Saturn bore;
His daughter she; "in Saturn's reign,
Such mixture was not held a stain."
Il Pens.

Thus in Albion's England:

In Crete did flourish in those days (first there that flourish'd so)
Uranos: he in wealth and wit all others did outgo.
This took to wife ("not then forbod") his sister Vesta faire.
B. I. Chap. i.

The turn of thinking in the following lines will remind the reader of Pope. Sir J. Mandeville during his travels writes to Eleanor, the cousin of King Edward, who, according to Warner's story, had fallen in love with him. The following forms a part of the epistle:

Great store of beauties have I seen, but none as yours exact,
Courts also more than stately with fair ladies in the same,
Which seem'd but common forms to me, rememb'ring but your name.
When in the Holy Land I pray'd, even at the holy grave,
"(Forgive me, God) a sigh for sin, and three for love I gave."
Against the fierce Arabians I the Soldan's pay did take,
"When oft, as onset, for Saint George Saint Eleanor I spake."
B. X. Chap. lxiii.

Not on the cross my eyes were fix'd, but you.

Again:

Thy image steals between my God and me.
Eloisa.