1930 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Parsons

Roy Benjamin Clark, in William Gifford, Tory Satirist (1930) 65-66.



William Parsons must have been a sort of bore to some members of the circle in which he moved. One of the Berry sisters characterized him as "that high priest of ennui." In 1796 he published an Ode to a Boy at Eton, Three Sonnets, and One Epigram. The Ode was written to correct what he considered a worng impression of Eton given by Gray's Ode on the Distant Prospect of Eton College. The "boy at Eton" as Bertie Greatheed, Jr. The poem is, of course, not the equal of Gray's, though the British Critic observed that the sentiments were true but inspired by different feelings from those of Gray's. Gifford ridiculed this publication in the 1797 edition of the Baeviad. Parsons published his collected poems in two volumes in 1807.