ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
Rev. Richard Hole
, "On reading Mr. Hole's Arthur" Hole, Poems (1790) 195-99.
Rev. Richard Hole:
1781: Rev. Edmund Cartwright
1790: Dr. Hugh Downman
1800: Dr. Nathan Drake
1801: Alexander Thomson
1809 ca.: Ann Katenkamp Merivale
1812: Robert Southey
1819: Lord Byron
1819: John Herman Merivale
Dr. Hugh Downman:
1768: Rev. Thomas Blacklock
1770 ca.: Rev. Thomas Blacklock
1774: William Jackson of Exeter
1790: Rev. Richard Hole
1790: Rev. Richard Polwhele
I hate the streams which smoothly glide
In channel trim with measur'd tide,
Whose shapely banks, for ever neat,
The grot adorns, or mossy seat.
While the calm waters, as they creep,
Lull the poetic mind to sleep.
Or where, if vagrant Fancy deigns
Ever to walk, she walks in chains.
No, rather eager let me haste,
Enthusiastic Maid! to taste
Of thy belov'd, deceptive rills,
Which high among the Gothic hills
Forth from the well of Fiction spring,
And thence their mingled currents fling
O'er rocks whose heads are wreath'd in snow,
And thro' romantic vales below.
Th' inspiring draught my soul pervades,
I range through long-deserted glades,
With Hole, companion of my way,
Through scenes where Spenser lov'd to stray,
O'er the wild heath, or trembling sod,
Which Ariosto whilom trod;
Where the free Muse with native charms,
Her votary's panting bosom warms.
With him my keen undazzled sight
Shall trace Conagra's stormy height;
There the Gigantic Sisters view,
Their gore-drench'd robes of russet hue;
Behold them gird the mountain round,
Uttering their dire, terrific sound,
Exciting the loud thunder's roar,
Stirring the sea from shore to shore.
Now see the Magic Towers arise,
And Urda wrapt in dark disguise,
And Hengist rushing to the sight,
And Arthur's fierce indignant might;
The dreary Spectres, shrieking fell,
Harpies, the progeny of hell,
Each Shade obscene which wants a name,
The Moat which burns with sulphurous flame.
Now Odin's regal form behold,
His beaming arms, and throne of gold,
The vivid lightnings round him play,
His potent voice forbids dismay.
Sudden the runic rhyme I hear,
And orgies of th' enfrenzied Seer,
His strains prophetic nerve the soul,
The tides of war tumultuous roll.
Rapt to Biarmia's freezing skies
What new, portentous visions rise!
Valdandi, Skulda, burst the ground,
The icy pillars tremble round,
In Arthur's shape, and burnisht mail,
Aloft, impetuous on the gale,
The cloud-form'd car their Hero bears,
His bosom every terror dares.
What beauteous Maid, in purest white,
Now steals upon my ravisht sight!
Her brow with golden wreathe entwined,
Her tresses floating on the wind;
'Tis Inogen — with joy and love
Resound the bowers, and vocal grove,
Ambrosial blossoms deck each spray,
The streams o'er lucid marble play.
Deaf to the tones of modern art,
To song like this I ope my heart;
And tho' abstracted from the Muse,
Cannot the Lyric Note refuse.
For as I read, th' enchantment thrills,
And every sense with pleasure fills;
Or in attention fixt I stand,
As struck by Merlin's powerful wand.