1778
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ode to Contemplation.

London Magazine 47 (December 1778) 569-70.

Henry Lemoine


At a mere ten couplets, this is surely one of the most condensed imitations of Milton's Il Penseroso. The poem is signed "H. Lemoine," who in 1777 had set up a bookstall in London. Lemoine was a grubstreet figure who contributed verse to many of the magazines and published an edition of Blair's The Grave altered into rhyme (1790). He was also an antiquary who in 1797 published Typographical Antiquities, a noted history of printing in Britain.

S. Austin Allibone: "Henry Lemoine, a London bookseller, 1756-1797, published a number of tracts, &c. and a work on Typographical Antiquities, London, 1797, sm. 8vo. pp. 156. An account of Lemoine, with the curious title of the work just noticed, will be found in Miller's Fly-Leaves, 1st series, London, 1854, 50-53" Critical Dictionary of English Literature (1858-71; 1882) 1:1083.



Come thou queen of pensive air,
In thy sable footed car,
By two mournful turtles drawn
Let me meet thee on yon lawn;
With decent sentiments wrapp'd around,
And thy brows with cypress bound!
Quickly come thou sober dame,
And thy musing Poet claim.
Bear me where thou lov'st to rove,
In the deep dark solemn grove,
Where on banks of velvet green,
Peace with silence still is seen:
And leisure at the sultry noon,
On flow'ry carpet flings him down,
There sweet queen, I'll sing thy pleasures,
In enthusiastick measures,
And sound thy praises through the vale,
Responsive to the hollow gale;
The murm'ring rills shall spread it round,
And grottoes the wild notes rebound.

[pp. 569-70]