1845 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Gent

John Holland, "Thomas Gent" Poets of Yorkshire; comprising Sketches of the Lives, and Specimens of the Writings of those Children of Song (1845) 82-83.



Thomas Gent, the old York printer, who died in his native city, in 1778, in the 87th year of his age, may be mentioned for the number, if not the merit, of the rhyming pieces with which he has interspersed the histories of Britain, Rome, York, Ripon, &c. compiled by him. Among other things he has a Pastoral on the death of Charles, Earl of Carlisle, who died May 1, 1738; Verses on the death of Queen Caroline; and a long legendary Ballad, in which "'tis supposed the shade of King Arthur has related his glorious transactions, death, &c., according to poetical license." The following are the closing stanzas: — Arthur, in allusion to his interment, at Glastonbury, is made to say

Full sixteen feet I lie in mould;
A truth, my shade now vents in moans;
Search near the Abbey, and behold
A trunk contains my dust and bones:
A rude inscription tells my name,
How I of Avalon was King;
And near me lies my royal dame,
Who from true Roman blood did spring.
And though twelve times I did defeat
The Saxons, who would us enslave,
For all my deeds renown'd and great,
Death has but paid me with a grave!
But still the King of Terrors' gloom,
Can ne'er obscure my endless fame:
For till the latest day of doom,
Britons will sing King Arthur's fame.