1772 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Hoole

Anonymous, in "Catalogue of the most celebrated Writers" Letters concerning the present State of England (1772) 375-76.



HOOLE. His Tasso is one of the best translations in the English Language; and abounds in general with a harmony of versification, scarcely exceeded by Pope himself. Take the following instance.

There sat Armida on a flowery bed;
Her wanton lap sustain'd the hero's head;
Her opening veil her iv'ry bosom show'd,
Loose to the fanning breeze her tresses flow'd;
A languor seem'd diffus'd o'er all her frame,
And ev'ry feature glow'd with amorous flame.
The pearly moisture on her beauteous face,
Improv'd the blush, and heighten'd every grace.
Her wand'ring eyes confess'd a pleasing fire,
And shot the trembling beams of soft desire.
Now fondly hanging o'er with head declin'd,
Close to his cheek, her lovely cheek she join'd.
While o'er her charms he taught his looks to rove,
And drank with eager thirst new draughts of love.
Now bending down enraptur'd as he lies,
She kiss'd her vermil lips and swimming eyes:
'Till from his inmost heart he heav'd a sigh,
As if to her's his parting soul would fly.

Besides Tasso, he began Metastasio, but has not finished the works of that poet. Mr. Hoole is however lately better known by two tragedies of very great merit, than by these translatons, Cyrus and Timanthes; the former is one of the best theatric pieces which has of late been brought upon the stage; the latter also has much merit.