1804 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Lisle Bowles

Anonymous, "Sketch of the Rev. William Lisle Bowles" Port Folio [Philadelphia] 4 (1 December 1804) 382.



A gentleman of most eminent poetical talents. He was educated at the school of Christ's Hospital, and afterward became a member and fellow of Trinity College, Oxford. In 1789, he published his exquisitely elegant sonnets: at first under the title of "Fourteen Sonnets, elegiac and descriptive," without the author's name. But to a second edition, published in the same year, he prefixed his name, and added seven other "little poems," of the same kind. He is also author of Verses to Mr. Howard; the Grave of Howard; Verses on the Philanthropic Society; a Monody, written at Matlock; and Elegiac Stanzas, written, during sickness, at Bath. A most elegant edition of his "Sonnets and other Poems," was printed at Bath, in 1796. The poetry of Mr. Bowles is exquisitely pathetic, and perfectly original. He possesses the power of awakening the finer feelings to a degree of even painful sensibility. Next to pathos, dignified simplicity appears to be the leading feature of his work.