1831 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Boscawen

Richard Polwhele, in Biographical Sketches in Cornwall (1831) 2:80.



We do not pretend to rate BOSCAWEN among the Poets, quite so high as we rated his ancestor among the Admirals. But we may say of Boscawen's Horace when put in competition with other translations:—

His star's unrival'd light
Shines like the radiant queen of night
Amidst Heaven's lesser fires.

His original poetry is equally good. The elegy in memory of Dr. Joseph Warton, is an elegant tribute to departed genius.

Soft flow'd the lay, when late, with downcast eye,
The gentle Muse by Itchin's verdant side
Pensive reclin'd; while to each struggling sigh
In kindred notes the murmuring stream replied.

Ye once-lov'd haunts! (exclaim'd the sorrowing maid),
Ye scenes, where oft my soul enraptur'd hung,
While o'er th' enamel'd vale my Warton stray'd,
On the sage lore he taught, the lays he sung!

No more, alas! shall joy's inspiring strain,
Dear to my heart, your sportive echoes fill,
When from yon classic dome the youthful train
Bounds o'er the mead, or climbs the breezy hill.

Mute is that tongue, which, tun'd by genius, charm'd
By native eloquence, by sense refin'd;
Cold is that heart, which genuine virtue warm'd,
And lost that taste, which form'd the mind.

Come, bright ey'd Fancy! for your favour'd child
Let kind remembrance prompt th' accordant tear:
You, on his votive lays who fondly smil'd,
Now with your grief adorn his sacred bier.

With air majestic and in modest state,
Invok'd, the mighty Mantuan sweeps the string:
"Rome, Rome,' he cries, 'may well deplore his fate,
Who bade in British strains her Virgil sing."

We cannot but express our sorrow that Boscawen one of the most zealous friends of the British Constitution, should not have found favour with such a man as Mathias, in the Pursuits of Literature.