1845 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Lipscomb

John Holland, "Rev. W. Lipscomb" Poets of Yorkshire; comprising Sketches of the Lives, and Specimens of the Writings of those Children of Song (1845) 92-93.



Mr. Lipscomb was of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where, in 1772, he obtained one of the Chancellor's prizes for his "Verses on the Beneficial Effects of Inoculation." In 1764, he took the degree of M.A., and the same year, published a volume of "Poems on various Subjects." He afterwards became Rector of Darlington. His most considerable poetical undertaking was the completion and publication, in 1798, of "The Canterbury Tales of Chaucer, in a Modern Version." In 1793, "Mr. Lipscomb's beautiful verses on the Beneficial Effects of Inoculation," as they are designated in the records of the Charity, were republished for the benefit of the Small Pox Hospital, and recited at the anniversary meeting of the Governors, at the London Tavern, by Mr. Palmer, of the Haymarket Theatre. The following are descriptive of the fatal ravages of the Small Pox on the first appearance of the disorder in the East:—

Those balmy gales, that whilom could dispense
A thousand odours to the ravish'd sense,
With fragrant coolness pleasing now no more,
Spread through the tainted sky their deadly store;
With anxious fear the fainting mother press'd
The smiling infant to her venom'd breast:
The smiling babe, unconscious of his fate,
Imbibed with greedy joy the baneful treat;
Oft as the swain beneath the citron shade
Pour'd his soft passion to the listening maid,
Infection's poison hung on every breath,
And each persuasive sigh was charged with death!