1683
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

To my worthy Friend Mr. Isaac Walton; on the publication of this Poem.

Thealma and Clearchus. A Pastoral History, in smooth and easie Verse. Written long since, by John Chalkhill, Esq; an Acquaintant and Friend of Edward Spencer.

Thomas Flatman


Prefatory verses to Izaak Walton's edition of Thealma and Clearchus: the name of Walton shall be secure "As long as Spencer's noble flames shall burn, | And deep Devotions throng about his Urn" Sig. A4v.

Peter Cunningham: "His verse was buried with its author in a fourth edition; no one has thought fit to revive it, and in no collection of British Poetry has Flatman found or is likely to find a place" in Campbell, Specimens of the British Poets (1845) 300n.

Thomas Corser: "After the preface are some lines by Thomas Flatman, addressed to Walton, On the publication of this Poem, dated 5 June 1683, from which it appears, as well as from the title, that Thealma and Clearchus had been written some years before it was given to the world by Walton" Collectanea Anglo-Poetica III (1867) 261.

Samuel Austin Allibone: "Thomas Flatman, 1633-1672, a native of London, educated at Oxford, was skilled in law, painting, and poetry. A collection of poems, entitled Virtus Rediviva, &c., by T. F. published in 1660, may be his, but Wood will not affirm it. In addition to some minor pieces of his in verse and prose, published separately, there appeared in 1674, '86, 8vo, a collection of his poems and songs; also published 1676, '82, '86. He composed Pindaric Odes on the death of the Duke of Albermarle, the Earl of Ossory, Prince Rupert, and Charles II. For that on the Earl of Ossory, the Duke of Ormond, his father, presented the author with a diamond ring worth £100" Critical Dictionary of English Literature (1858-71; 1882) 1:602.

W. Davenport Adams: "Thomas Flatman, poet (b. 1635, d. 1688), was the author of some trifles, one of which, On Marriage, survives in Locker's Lyra Elegantiarum" Dictionary of English Literature (1878) 225.

Herbert E. Cory: "Thomas Flatman, one of the very few lyrists who wrote with high seriousness at the end of the century, followed Cowley almost exclusively. Flatman's friends, Dr. Samuel Woodford and Katherine Philips, 'the matchless Orinda,' wrote often in the manner of Cowley" Critics of Edmund Spenser (1911) 111.



Long had the bright Thealma lain obscure,
Her beauteous Charms that might the world allure,
Lay, like rough Diamonds in the Mine, unknown;
By all the Sons of Folly trampled on,
Till your kind hand unveil'd her lovely Face,
And gave her vigor to exert her Rays.
Happy Old Man, whose worth all mankind knows,
Except himself, who charitably shows
The ready road to Virtue, and to Praise,
The Road to many long, and happy days;
The noble Arts of generous Piety,
And how to compass true felicity,
Hence did he learn the Art of living well,
The bright Thealma was his Oracle:
Inspir'd by her, he knows no anxious cares,
Tho near a Century of pleasant years;
Easie he lives, and chearful shall he die,
Well spoken of by late Posterity.
As long as Spencer's noble flames shall burn,
And deep Devotions throng about his Urn;
As long as Chalkhill's venerable Name,
With humble emulation shall inflame
Ages to come, and swell the Rolls of Fame:
Your memory shall ever be secure,
And long beyond our short-liv'd Praise endure;
As Phidias in Minerva's Shield did live,
And shar'd that immortality he alone could give.

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