1810
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

To the right honourable, the Earl Spencer, Knight of the most noble Order of the Garter.

The Defense of Poesy. [Philip Sidney, ed. Edward Thurlow.]

Edward Thurlow


One of seven Spenserian sonnets by Edward Thurlow. George John Spencer, second Earl Spencer (1758-1834) was a follower of Edmund Burke, a bibliophile, and one of the founders of the Roxburghe Club.

Philip Bliss: "The last and most splendid [edition of Sidney] is one 4to. Lond. 1810, by lord Thurlow, son of Thurlow, bishop of Durham. The noble editor has prefixed five copies of original verses written in the manner of Sidney. One of these I extract. It is addressed to one of literature's brightest ornaments and most munificent patrons [Earl Spencer]" Athenae Oxonienses (1815) 1:522n.

George Daniel: "Lord Spencer is a most amiable and munificent nobleman. — I think the epithet applied to his Lordship's talents is 'super-human.' Lord Thurlow should be cautious of drawing ridicule upon his friends by such indiscriminate praise" Modern Dunciad (1814; 1815) 42n.



Not all, that sit beneath a golden roof,
In rooms of cedar, O renowned Lord,
Wise though they be, and put to highest proof,
To the sweet Muses do their grace afford;
Which if they did, the like would them accord
The mighty poets to eternity,
And their wise acts in living verse record,
And build them up, great heirs of memory,
Which else shall in oblivion fall and die;
But Thou, that like the Sun, with heavenly beams
Shining on all, dost cheer abundantly
The learned hands, that drink Castalian streams;
Transcendent Lord, accept this verse from me,
Made for all time, but yet unfit for thee.

[(1812) p. 3]