1814 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. Mark Akenside

George Dyer, in History of the University and Colleges of Cambridge (1814) 2:385.



Akenside was an excellent poet, and many editions of the Pleasures of Imagination were published. It is greatly to be lamented, that professional engagements prevented him, also, from putting a finishing hand to his grand poem — for such it is, though unfinished. Since his death, in 1772, all his poems have been printed in a fine 4to. edition, including his Pleasures of Imagination, together with the additions made to it at several times by the author, and two books of Odes. In this edition is reprinted, from the 6th volume of Dodsley's Miscellany, his fine Hymn to the Naiads, with corrections and notes. On the principles of a Platonist, this hymn is not only a very fine, but a consistent poem; and I must add, generally, that the poems of Akenside are as full of poetical power, as they are of independent principle, notwithstanding the sneer of one of our Cambridge poets.

—Goddess of the lyre,
Which rules the accents of the moving sphere,
Wilt thou, eternal Harmony! descend,
And join the festive train? for with thee comes
The guide, the guardian of thier lovely sports,
Majestic Truth; and where Truth deigns to come,
Her sister Liberty will not be far.
Pleasures of the Imagination.