1771
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

A Parody, upon those Lines of Milton's, in the Hermitage at Hagley-Park.

Miscellaneous Poems: on various Subjects, and Occasions. Revised and corrected by the late Mr. William Shenstone.

Joseph Giles


A paraphrase of the conclusion of Milton's Il Penseroso, applied to George Lyttelton. Lyttelton's To the Memory of a Lady lately deceased: a Monody (1747), written for his wife, was one of the most admired elegies of the eighteenth century. Joseph Giles, an acquaintance of Shenstone's, had evidently visted Lyttelton's estate at Hagley Park. Miscellaneous Poems opens with a long poem in stanzas, "The Leasowes: or, a poetical Description of the late Mr. Shenstone's rural Retirement."

Giles's 1771 volume of Miscellaneous Poems, much corrected by Shenstone (according to the Advertisement) seems to have been edited from the manuscript without the permission of the poet. How the anonymous editor came into possession of the manscuscript corrected by Shenstone does not appear, nor is the editor able or willing to say anything more of Joseph Giles than that he had once lived in Birmingham.



May I, while health and strength remains,
And blood flows warm within my veins;
Find out some virgin, soft and kind,
Who is to social joy inclin'd;
A nymph who can for me forgo,
The fop, the fribble, and the beau;
From noise and show, content can be,
To live at home with love and me:
Such pleasures Love and Hymen give,
And such a life I wish to live.

[p. 161]