1749 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Blacklock

W. L. [William Lauder?], Headnote in Gentleman's Magazine 19 (November 1749) 514.



Mr. URBAN,

The following paraphrase on Psalm 104, was dictated by Mr. THOMAS BLACKLOCK, a young gentleman of Scotland, at the age of thirteen, who became blind six months after his birth. I think a true poetical spirit appears in this performance, and that the noble sublimity of the divine original is admirably maintained. I will venture to add that it is inferior to no paraphrase on that Psalm (distinguish'd from the rest by its poetical beauties) that has yet appear'd in English; tho' several very masterly hands have attempted it; particularly the great Lord Chancellor Bacon, Sir Henry Wotton, Sir John Denham, Sir Richard Blackmore, Mr. George Sandys, Dr. Trapp, Dr. Watts, the celebrated Sir George Mackenzie, of whom Mr. Dryden ingenuously confesses to have learned some of the nicest delicacies of English poetry, and many others: As your judgment and impartiality in giving preference to works of merit, are universally acknowledged, I hope you will give this beautiful poem an opportunity to be generally read, and it may contribute to the amusement, of your ingenious readers, if you publish some of the other paraphrases; your several specimens of a Latin translation of the Paradise Lost having been received with general approbation. (See Vol. XVI.)

I am, Sir, Yours, &c.

W. L.