1801 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. George Richards

Alexander Thomson, in The British Parnassus, at the Close of the Eighteenth Century (1801) 60 & n.



What Critic of Taste could not scribble a sheet on
The praise of that old ABORIGINAL BRITON,
Whose haunts and employments, whose figure and dress,
Were by RICHARDS pourtray'd with such brilliant success?
While his sullen retreat, with so manly a tongue,
And invincible passion for freedom he sung;
Contrasting these virtues of tumult and strife,
With the gentler graces of civiliz'd life;
But he who could utter so lofty a strain
At the very first trial he made of his vein,
Oh why, ever since, does he silent remain?

The Aboriginal Britons is the title of this Poem, which obtained a prize, and was publically recited at Oxford in 1791.