1796 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Pettit Andrews

H., "Verses occasioned by reading the History of Great Britain, written by James Petit Andrews" European Magazine 30 (July 1796) 53.



In the historic line much praise is due
To Andrews, when his labours we review;
In his minute researches we shall find
Proofs of a patient, persevering mind,
New light he throws on volumes which contain
Annals of Britain, "mistress of the main."
Active at once and diligent he shines,
And with vivacity sound judgment joins.
With various feelings we his pages read,
While we through ev'ry reign, allur'd, proceed.
Surveying the transactions in our Isle,
By turns we sorrow, execrate, and smile,
From bloody scenes we shudd'ring turn away,
Shock'd, when bold villains make a broad display
Of deeds inhuman; while, with barb'rous art,
Invention strives to agonize the heart
With tortures new. Severely are we pain'd,
When with such deeds the historic page is stain'd.
With harrowing scenes, indecent ones we meet,
And language which no fair-one can repeat
Without a blush, who is not led to shine
With a false lustre in the Cyprian line;
From scenes indecent with disgust we rise,
But dwell on others with delighted eyes.