1843 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Walter Harte

John Holland, in Psalmists of Britain. Records of upwards of One Hundred and Fifty Authors, who have rendered the Whole or Parts of The Book of Psalms, into English Verse (1843) 2:219-20.



Mr. Chalmers, who has comprised the Life and Works of Harte in his voluminous collection of "British Poets," observes that neither the learning nor the personal worth of the Poet have ever been called in question. This negative praise is no small compliment to one, who besides being connected with the heartless Lord Chesterfield, as the tutor of his son, had to earn a precarious livelihood by the profession of literature. He was also esteemed by Pope, whose style of versification he adopted in some instances, and, as he professes, that of Dryden in others. Harte died in 1774; and, as there is reason to hope, in the faith of a Christian: his celebrated patron, speaking of an illness of the Poet, ten years earlier, uses the following Chesterfieldian language: — "Poor Harte is grown extremely devout, which I am very glad of, because that is always a comfort to the afflicted." The same authority afterwards remarks: — "He is going to publish his Divine Poems, as he calls them. I am sorry for it, as he had not time to correct them." His works are very miscellaneous — historical, classical, satirical, and religious: the latter, include Paraphrases of Psalms 104 and 107, both in blank verse.