1819 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry Kirke White

Anonymous, "Monument to Henry Kirke White, by Chantrey" National Recorder [Philadelphia] 2 (11 September 1819) 172



The Cambridge Chronicle mentions that a monument, by Mr. Chantrey, has been erected in All Saints Church of that City, to the memory of Henry Kirke White. It is a curious circumstance, that this tribute to British genius has been offered by an American gentleman of the name of Boott [of Boston,] who, on a visit to Cambridge, was surprised to find that there was no memorial on the burial place of a poet whom he much admired, and thought worthy of that public attention. Having obtained leave to repair that omission, he applied to the eminent sculptor above mentioned, who has, as we learn, fulfilled his commission with great classical taste. The journal from which we have taken this notice adds, that "the monument has been erected in the 'west' side of the church, facing the altar. It consists of white marble, and exhibits within a medallion the portrait of Mr. White in bas-relief. Below the medallion are the following lines from the pen of the Professor of Modern History:

Warm with fond hope and learning's sacred flame,
To Granta's bowers the youthful poet came;
Unconquer'd pow'rs th' immortal mind displayed,
But worn with anxious thought the frame decay'd.
Pale o'er his lamp, and in his cell retir'd,
O genius, taste, and piety sincere,
Too early lost 'midst duties too severe!
Foremost to mourn was generous Southey seen;
He told the tale, and show'd what White had been:
Nor told in vain; — far o'er the Atlantic wave,
A wanderer came, and sought the poet's grave.
On yon low stone he saw his lonely name,
And rais'd this fond memorial to his fame.

"In the execution of the portrait, Mr. Chantrey has been eminently successful: it is a striking likeness of the man; but the style and beauty of the sculpture may be compared to the best works of Grecian artists; and in the manner of executing the medallion, the sculptor has been guided by the purest models of taste. The works both of Grecian and Egyptian sculptors afford examples of relievos protected by being, as it were, imbedded within an excavated surface. The hieroglyphic sculpture is all of this kind; and the paterae of a similar nature."

Eng. Mag.