1750
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Chorus at the End of the second Act of the Hecuba of Euripides.

The Student or Oxford and Cambridge Monthly Miscellany 1 (31 January 1750) 28-29.

Bonnell Thornton


Five irregular Spenserians (ababcC) in an octosyllabic variant except for the final stanza. The poem is signed "B. T.," very likely for Bonnell Thornton, who with Christopher Smart of Cambridge was joint editor of The Student. Later in life Thornton gained some reputation as a translator of Plautus.

Robert Southey: "Bonnell Thornton was the son of an apothecary in Maiden Lane, London, and was intended by his father for the medical profession. His first attempts as an author appeared in The Student, or Oxford and Cambridge Monthly Miscellany, printed at Oxford for Mr. Newberry of St. Paul's Churchyard; a name and address once as widely circulated with the histories of Goody Two Shoes and Giles Gingerbread, and other sixpenny books in gilt covers, as it has since been with Dr. James's powders and analeptic pills. Kit Smart was the principal conductor, and Warton and Johnson were occasional contributors" Life and Works of Cowper (1835-37) 1:45.

W. Davenport Adams: "Bonnell Thornton, versifier and miscellaneous writer (b. 1724, d. 1768), started The Student, or Oxford and Cambridge Monthly Miscellany (1748); Have at ye All, or the Drury Lane Journal (1752); The Connoisseur (1754); besides contributing to The Public Advertiser and The St. James's Chronicle, and publishing An Ode on St. Cecilia's Day (1765); and The Battle of the Wigs (1768)" Dictionary of English Literature (1878) 634.



Ye breezes mild and gentle gales,
Whose breath proptitious fills the swelling sails,
And bids the vessel swiftly glide
Thro' angry seas, and stem the stubborn tide,
O whither, whither will ye bear me hence
To haughty pow'r a slave and lawless insolence?

Will ye alas! in Doric lands
Subject me to some proud Greek's stern commands?
Or waft me to the fertile coast
Of Pthia, where in wand'ring mazes lost
The fam'd Apidanus rolls his silver floods
Thro' meads of verdant hue, and shadowy darkling woods?

Or must I to the isle repair
Select and sacred to LATONA fair,
Where verdant laurels never sear
And lofty pines their blooming branches rear;
To join the youthful choir's united voice,
And sing of DIAN chaste, whose care the bow employs.

For lofty Athens must I part,
To shade the curious vest with nicest art,
To paint MINERVA'S glorious car,
Adorn the tapestry with scenes of war,
Or point the forked bolt with flaming rage,
On Titans hurl'd, that durst heav'n's awful king engage?

See, blazing fires from hapless Ilion rise,
While clouds of circling smoke obscure the skies,
O dire distress! why only am I left,
Of children, parents, brethren, all bereft?
Why thus reserv'd a prey to proud domain,
Far hence in foreign lands to drag the galling chain?

[pp. 28-29]