1789 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Dermody

Anonymous, "Advertisement" in Poems, by Thomas Dermody (1789) iii-v.



The following little Collection of Poems, it is hoped, will meet the kind indulgence of the Reader. They are the published with a view to obtain support and protection for young genius. — The Author has not yet attained his fourteenth year. — At this early age, he has been sent abroad into the world without friends, and furnished with no means of livelihood, except such as he might derive from a little classical knowledge, and from his talent for Poetry. But these endowments are of little current value, especially in infancy, and require time and cultivation to bring them to maturity. — Our young Poet, therefore, as might be expected, has suffered every kind of distress to which his unprotected situation was liable. — The particulars, although they might interest the sensibility of the Reader, would exceed the limits of an advertisement. — It is but justice, however, to the benevolence of Mr. Owenson, of the Theatre Royal, to mention, that he rescued our Author from the lowest indigence, and received him into his own house. So that to him he is primarily obliged for the comforts he now enjoys, and for the happy prospects that now open to him. — He has had the honour to be presented to some of the first Characters in this city in rank and letters, whose liberal assistance and countenance will, no doubt, have weight as an example, and obtain for him a very general patronage among persons of discernment and distinction.

It has been thought proper not to offer this specimen to the Public at large, but to print a few copies to be circulated among those only, who, it is hoped, will take an interest in the protection of our young Poet, and whose protection it is of most consequence he should obtain. — Should the judicious Reader discover in the following Poems any imitations, he will be inclined rather to approve of them, as they shew a just attention to the best models. — Should many of the original passages or thoughts appear above the years of the Author, the Reader may be assured they are entirely his own. — And he will readily make allowance for a few errors, and weak lines, as our young Poet writes with singular rapidity, and as corrections have been avoided, in order to present a genuine specimen of his abilities. — In the selection here offered from a great number, the best of his little productions, as may be supposed, have been preferred; but some are retained to shew the variety of his manner, and some on account of the grateful sentiments they contain to his benefactors.

Subscriptions will be received by the Rev. GILBERT AUSTIN, Baggot-Street.

March 25, 1789.