1772 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Chatterton

Anonymous, Review of Chatterton, Execution of Sir Charles Bawdin in Middlesex Journal (23 June 1772).



I have just read a very fine ancient Poem, intituled The Execution of Sir Charles Bawdin, and am perfectly of opinion with the ingenious Editor, that it has poetical merit enough to call it forth from the obscurity in which it has lain. The manner in which Sir Charles receives the news of his being doomed to suffer is extremely affecting. It is thus described by the poet:

Thenne CANYNGE dropt a brinie teare,
And fromme the presence paste.
Whythe herte brymm fulle of gnawynge grief,
Hee to Syrr CHARLES dydd goe.
And satt hymm downe uponne a stoole,
And teares beganne to flowe.
"We all must die," quod brave Syrr CHARLES;
"Whatte bootes ytte how or whenne;
Dethe ys the sure, the certaine fate
Of all wee mortalle menne."...