1848 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Granville Penn

Benjamin Disraeli, in Life of Isaac D'Israeli (1848); D'Israeli, Works (1881) 1:xix.



It was in these days that his friend, Mr. [John] Penn, of Stoke Park, in Buckinghamshire, presented him [Henry James Pye] with a cottage worthy of a poet on his beautiful estate; and it was thus my father became acquainted with the amiable descendant of the most successful of colonisers, and with that classic domain which the genius of Gray, as it were, now haunts, and has for ever hallowed, and from which he beheld with fond and musing eye, those "Distant spires and antique towers," that no one can now look upon without remembering him. It was amid these rambles in Stoke Park, amid the scenes of Gray's genius, the elegiac churchyard, and the picturesque fragments of the Long Story, talking over the deeds of the "Great Rebellion" with the descendants of Cavaliers and Parliament-men, that my father first imbibed that feeling for the county of Buckingham, which induced him occasionally to be a dweller in its limits, and ultimately, more than a quarter of a century afterwards, to establish his household gods in its heart.