1822 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edward Thurlow

Anonymous, in Review of Thurlow's Anacreon; Literary Speculum 2 (September 1822) 274.



That Edward Hovel Thurlow, Lord Thurlow, (such is the portentous name of this titled bard) who can certainly string bungling rhymes with considerable facility, should, after mangling Chaucer, and mimicking Shakespear, attempt a poetical translation of Anacreon, is a lamentable proof of the false estimate he has formed of his own powers, and of the almost incredible vanity of would-be poets. Our rhyme-struck peer first displayed his passion for the Muses in Mister Urban's venerable miscellany, by giving lame versions from the Psalter, and breathing pretty lady-like love ditties as gentle as a "sucking dove." Then came sundry composing volumes of occasional poems, interspersed with loyal odes to the Prince Regent and those whom he delighted to honour; the modernizing of Chaucer and the Rape of Proteus followed; — these were great doings, and surely might have contented any scribbler under the degree of an earl. His Lordship of Thurlow thought differently, and the ethereal scintillations of the Greek enthusiast's lyre were to be forced into his leaden moulds for the production of "English measure," notwithstanding the unquestioned success of our British Anacreon, Moore, in the same field. Truly nothing but a most comfortable opinion of his own superior endowments could have induced even a Right Hon. author to enter the lists against such fearful odds.