1882 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Michael Bruce

Epes Sargent, in Harper's Cyclopaedia of British and American Poetry (1882) 231.



Bruce (1746-1767) was the son of a humble Scottish weaver, and a native of the county of Kinross. He studied at the University of Edinburgh, and was soon distinguished for his poetical productions. He kept school awhile, but was attacked by a pulmonary complaint, and died before he was twenty-two years old. His poems bear the marks of immaturity, and the resemblances in them to other poets are close and frequent. With death full in his view he wrote his Elegy, the best of all his productions. It extends to twenty-two stanzas, of which we quote the choicest. After his death his Bible was found upon his pillow, marked down at Jer. xxii. 10: "Weep ye not for the dead, neither bemoan him." His poems were first given to the world by his college friend, John Logan, in 1770. In 1837 a complete edition was brought out.