1761
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

[Untitled,"Nymphs, that mountain, wood, or hill."]

Epithalamia Oxoniensia, sive Gratulationes in Augustissimi Regis Georgii III. et Illustrissimae Principissae Sophiae Charlottae Nuptias Auspicatissimas.

Bp. Lewis Bagot


A Miltonic Epithalamion in a university volume celebrating the marriage of George III and Queen Charlotte. The poem is signed "Lewis Bagot B.A. Son of Sir Walter Bagot, Student of Christ-Church. Bagot , a wealthy man, ended his career as bishop of St. Asaph (1790-1802).

R. C.: "In the Pietas et Gratulatio Univ. Oxon. 1761, on the accession of his present Majesty, is a copy of English blank verses, subscribed 'Lewis Bagot, B. A. student of Christ church, son of Sir Walter Bagot, bart.' In the Epithalamia Oxon. the same year, on the King's marriage, there is an English ode; and in the Gratulatio Univ. Oxon. 1762 on the birth of the Prince of Wales, blank verse again; both under the same signature as the former" Gentleman's Magazine 72 (November 1802) 1003-04.

Lewis Bettany: "Lewis Bagot (1740-1802), the Bishop of Norwich who presented [Robert] Potter to the vicarage of Lowestoft and to the rectory of Kessingland on June 26th, 1789, was the seventh son of Sir Walter Bagot, Bart., and brother of the 1st Lord Bagot. He was educated with his brother at Westminster, where Cowper was his schoolfellow, and at Christ Church, Oxford. Subsequently ... he went for the benefit of the air to Lisbon, where presumably he first met his future wife. He then took orders and was made Canon of Christ Church in 1771, in which year he married Mary Hay, second daughter of the Hon. Edward Hay, Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of Lisbon, and brother of Thomas, 9th Earl of Kinnoul. (Miss Hay was sister to Dr. Hay, Dean of Christ Church.) He was made D.C.L. in 1772, and was appointed Dean of Christ Church on January 25th, 1777. On February 23rd, 1782, he was consecrated Bishop of Bristol. In 1783 he was translated to Norwich, and in 1790 to St. Asaph. He rebuilt the palace there. He died in London on June 4th, 1802. His only book is his Warburton Lecture of 1780 on 'The Prophecies'" Edward Jerningham and his Friends (1919) 369n.

In his Select Collection of Poems (1780-82) John Nichols reprints Bagot's verses under the title, "On the Marriage of Their Present Majesties." Earl R. Wasserman mistakenly locates it in the 1736 Gratulatio Academiae Oxoniensis; (1947) 149n; the Spenser Encyclopedia (1990), following Cory's "Spenser, Thomson, and Romanticism" PMLA 26 (1911) mistakenly dates it 1755.



Nymphs, that mountain, wood, or hill,
Ere the day peeps, lightly tread;
Ye, that haunt where whispering rill
Creeps along the matted mead;

Or the sea-worn beach do hold,
Green-hair'd sisters of the main;
Hither haste, and strait unfold
Each the treasures of her reign.

Be they flow'rs of brightest hue,
Such as fade not with the dew
That chilling Autumn scatters wide:
Be they wreaths of myrtle green,
Such as deck the Paphian queen,
Or shells with queint enamel dyed.

And "Hymen, Io Hymen" be your song;
Hymen resound the woods, and hills, and shores along.

Hymen raiseth high his brand
Newly touch'd with chastest fire;
Thousand pleasures at command
Purple-winged round him quire.

He of these the father is,
Father of each social joy;
Soothing with transcendent bliss
Cares that mortal breasts annoy.

Loose Desires affrighted fly;
And the fiend Adultery,
That sunk old Troy in foul disgrace:
Prostitution, whelm'd with dread,
Trembling seeks her masked head
To hide among the savage race.

Let "Hymen Io Hymen" be your song;
Hymen, resound the woods, and shores along.

But in virgin splendour bright
Lo! the blushing Maid appears.
Venus from a cloud of light
Mildly whispering sooths her fears:

"Happy shores whereon you tread,
Shores with peace eternal crown'd!
Calm thy fluttering bosom's dread;
Nothing here but joys are found.

"Haste; for thee thy blooming mate
Doth with hopeful rapture wait:
His peer not all the world doth hold:
Him — But soon thyself shall see,
Blessing thy kind destiny,
How little shallow fame hath told."

"Now "Hymen, Io Hymen" be the song;
Hymen resound the woods, and hills, and shores along.

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