1811 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Whitehead

Anonymous, "Portfolio of a Man of Letters: Whitehead" The Monthly Magazine 31 (May 1811) 351.



Among the poems of the laureate Whitehead, one of the best is an elegy written at the convent of Haut-Villers, in Champagne, and dated in 1754. The descriptive portion has likeness, the antiquarian portion loftiness, and an ingenious moral is well attached in the following stanza:

Temperance, not abstinence, in every bliss,
Is man's true joy, and therefore Heaven's command;
The wretch, who riots, thanks his God amiss;
Who starves, rejects the bounties of his hand.

Whitehead, if not a man of genius, was a man of taste; if he was the flatterer, he was also the improver of the great; the arts are indebted to him for efficacious commendations; and his fable of the Youth and the Philosopher, is still popular.

ON AN HASTY MARRIAGE.
Belinda in her Twentieth year
Holds solitude such woe,
She'd rather lead a monkey here,
Then lead an ape below.