1813
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

[Untitled, "The Cuckoo now shall mock the Nightingale."]

Poems on Several Occasions: by Edward, Lord Thurlow. The Second Edition: considerably enlarged.

Edward Thurlow


The reflections of an unrepentant Tory. "I think, indeed, that our Poetry has been continually declining, since the days of Milton, and Cowley; always excepting from censure the great name of Chatterton; and that the golden age of our language is in the reign of Queen Elizabeth: believing Shakespeare to be the greatest master of our poetical speech, and Sir Philip Sidney of our prose" p. vii.

I have not been able to trace the first appearance of two other Spenserian sonnets that appear in Thurlow's Select Poems (1821): "How oft, Oh Moon . . ." and "O, how small wit . . ."



The Cuckoo now shall mock the Nightingale,
The thistle have the blushing rose in scorn,
The lofty mountain bend unto the vale,
And the brief taper overlight the Morn:
Now shall all things, that were to Empire born,
Find dimunition in their proper sphere,
True beauty now shall out of price be worn,
And virtue serve, that sate without a peer:
Precedency shall fly from out the year,
And fixture be engraft with swallow's wings,
Now moles shall 'gin to see, and rocks to hear,
And rivers shall run backward to their springs:
All this, and more, seem not so strange to me,
As knowledge, school'd by vile authority.

[p. 201]