1823 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edward Thurlow

Charles Lamb, in "Defence of the Sonnets of Sir Philip Sidney" London Magazine 8 (September 1823) 251n.



A profusion of verbal dainties, with a disproportionate lack of matter and circumstance, is I think, one reason of the coldness with which the public has received the poetry of a nobleman now living; which, upon the score of exquisite diction alone, is entitled to something better than neglect. I will venture to copy one of his Sonnets in this place, which for quiet sweetness, and unaffected morality, has scarcely its parallel in our language.

TO A BIRD THAT HAUNTED THE WATERS OF LACKEN IN THE WINTER
By Lord Thurlow

O melancholy Bird, a winter's day,
Thou standest by the margin of the pool,
And, taught by God, dost thy whole being school
To Patience, which all evil can allay,
God has appointed thee the Fish thy prey;
And given thyself a lesson to the fool
Unthrifty, to submit to moral rule,
And his unthinking course by thee to weigh.
There need not schools, nor the Professor's chair,
Though these be good, true wisdom to impart.
He who has not enough, for these, to spare
Of time, or gold, may yet attend his heart,
And teach his soul, by brooks, and rivers fair:
Nature is always wise in every part.