1810
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

To the right honourable, the Lord Holland.

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

Edward Thurlow


One of seven Spenserian sonnets. General Henry Edward Fox, first Baron Holland (1755-1811) was evidently another military man to whom Edmund Thurlow sent the works of his darling Philip Sidney. After the commendatory sonnets in the Faerie Queene.

The Satirist: "The Duke of Dorset, besides being a 'most noble prince,' is also a 'most heroic lord.' Earl Spencer, a 'renowned lord,' and eke a 'transcendent lord.' Lord Holland, a 'most favoured lord.' But 'the force of language can no further go,' and Lord Granard must be content with being, like the Duke of Dorset, a 'heroic lord.' As for Lord Moira, to whom this masterpiece of scoffing is dedicated, he is burdened with panegyrics that would break down the most long-eared of the peerage" 13 (September 1813) 217.

Walter Scott: "There are other dilletanti authors, earls, and knights, whom we might be expected to notice, especially as they have taken the field in form as dramatic poets, and epic poets, and Esopian fabulists. But it would be unfair to review what we have found ourselves unable to read; and we can only pledge ourselves, that when these eminent personages shall produce a play or a poem, or even a single apologue, which has been actually perused by any one above being bribed by a dinner, or the hopes of a seat in the chariot, we shall do our best to imitate an instance of such laudable perseverance" "Living Poets" in Edinburgh Annual Register for 1808 (1810) 2:440.



Most favour'd Lord, in whose pure intellect,
The temple of divine humanity,
Th' eternal Muses triumph, with affect
Of all that lives above the lamping sky;
With what enlarged pinion shall I fly,
T' attain the glory of this argument,
That in thy rising wisdom can descry
The star that shall enlight our firmament?
And there shall reign, amidst the sweet consent
Of all, that honour magnaminity,
And in the rule of virtue find content:
Meanwhile, 'till that auspicious time shall be,
This portraiture of worth, by Sidney penn'd,
To thy most faultless judgment I commend.

[(1812) p. 7]