1786
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

A Slight View of the Village and School of R—.

A Slight View of the Village and School of R—. In imitation of Gray's Eaton College.

William Gerard Hamilton


"In imitation of Gray's Eaton College." Published anonymously; not seen.

Critical Review: "The resemblance this poem bears to Gray's most excellent ode, consists in the similarity of the subject, and structure of the stanzas; in other respects, the difference is nearly as great as between Eton-college and the school of R—. Not but we meet with several good lines, as some of those which open the poem will evince; but there is a great mistake in the third and fourth, where rivulets are said to supply fountains; and the last seems introduced merely for the sake of the rhyme" 62 (October 1786) 312.

William Enfield: "Whether it be, that imitators are considered in the light of rivals, or that their attempts imply a degree of vanity which we are unwilling to gratify, or whatever cause may be assigned, the fact is certain, that readers are seldom disposed to bestow praise on professed imitations. The present piece bears so faint a resemblance to the beautiful original, of which it would be a copy, and falls so far short of its richness of imagery, poetical diction, and harmony of numbers; that we apprehend the prop on which it leans will not be able to keep it from falling into oblivion" Monthly Review 75 (August 1786) 149.



Yon garden next demands my lay,
Where happy art conjoins
Soft pleasure with utility,
And ornament combines:
Pine apples there in beauty vie
With those that bask in native sky;
The gourd winds slowly up the wall!
There ripening hangs the mellow pear;
There twists the cooling cumcumber;
There climbs the nasturtium tall.

[Monthly Review 75 (August 1786) 149]