1813
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

[Untitled, "Who have been great, in this our mortal clime."]

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

Edward Thurlow


"Virgilian" Spenser appears in a catalogue of British poets (Chaucer, Spenser, Milton, Shakespeare).

Literary Chronicle: "One fault his lordship possesses, for which it is difficult to offer any apology, [is] the use of affected and antiquated words and expressions: we shall, perhaps, be told that it is an imitation of some of our early poets; a mere copying of words, however, is but a sorry imitation when the genius and spirit of the original are wanting" Review of Thurlow, Select Poems; 4 (5 January 1822) 11.

Bernard Barton to William S. Fitch: "A Sonnet is no bad poetical Memorial: for a good one is one of the highest efforts of Genius. All of our great Poets have been rather proud of their Sonnets, and have bestowed more labour on their composition than on many of their longer pieces — Look at Milton's, Wordsworth's, Bowles' and Lord Thurlow's — to say nothing of those by foreign Bards" 20 October 1830; in Literary Correspondence, ed. James E. Barcus (1966) 84.



Who have been great, in this our mortal clime,
Begirt around by the loud-voiced sea?
Why sacred Chaucer, that, in homely rhyme,
First held the lamp up to Posterity:
Then Spenser, in whose rich Virgilian strain,
The moral Virtues are disposed fair:
Then glorious Milton, who surpass'd his reign
In depths of Hell, and in th' Olympic air:
But, most of all, and to our wond'ring eyes,'
And to the eyes of all futurity,
Great Shakespeare stands, that was by Nature wise,
And made a spoil of his posterity;
When he was born, great Nature did her most,
And when he died, the World's delight was lost!

[p. 148]