1805 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. Mark Akenside

Charles Brockden Brown?, "Mark Akenside" Literary Magazine and American Register [Philadelphia] 4 (August 1805) 148-49.



He was an excellent scholar, and well acquainted with Greek literature. From his most splendid poem, the Pleasures of Imagination, and his Hymn to the Naiads, with the notes, it appears, he was a Platonist. He was intended for a dissenting minister, but soon relinquished the assistance which he received from some dissenting fund, in order to devote himself to studies, and a profession, more congenial to his taste. He was an ardent friend to liberty. The following little poem of his shows his turn of mind; that love of fame was his ruling passion:

ON A SERMON AGAINST GLORY.
Come, then, tell me, sage divine,
Is it an offence to own
That our bosoms e'er incline
To immortal Glory's throne!
For with me nor pomp nor pleasure,
Bourbon's might, Braganza's treasure,
So can Fancy's dreams rejoice,
So conciliate Reason's choice,
As one approving word of her impartial voice.

If to spurn at noble praise
Be the passport to thy heaven,
Follow thou those gloomy ways:
No such law to me was given.
Nor, I trust, shall I deplore me
Faring like my friends before me;
Nor a holier place desire
Than Timoleon's arms require,
And Tully's curule chair, and Milton's golden lyre.