1792
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sonnet. Written in 1792, at Rennie in Ireland, where Spenser had an Estate, and resided.

Miscellaneous Works, in Prose and Verse, of George Hardinge, Esq. M.A. F.R.S. F.S.A. Senior Justice of the Counties of Brecon, Glamorgan, and Radnor. 3 Vols.

George Hardinge


This poem combines three of George Hardinge's literary interests: sonnets, antiquarianism, and topographical poetry. While he published little, Hardinge was a prolific amateur poet: the poetry in the second volume of this posthumous collection runs to over five hundred pages, and is not comprehensive.

Author's notes: "Sir William [sic] Raleigh had the Castle of Lismore, now a picturesque and beautiful ruin. It was not very distant from Spenser's abode. He visited the poet there — and cultivated his friendship. Sir William Raleigh offered Spenser his protection at the English Court; and suffered him to languish in 'hope deferred.' — N.B. Rennie, though stript of all its wood, is highly romantic still — It must have been a Paradise. — The Poet alludes both to Mole and the Mulla" 3:22n.

Hardinge briefly alludes to characters in the Faerie Queene in two undated local poems in Miscellaneous Works. In Court Hill, a Tour from Tenbury to Ludlow, he writes, "The peasants' mounted girlds I meet, | With many a Talus at their feet: | We Bards have dreams that never fail us — | I dreamt of Una kissing Talus" 2:505. In Soliloquy found in a Recess in Dr. M—'s Garden, he writes, "Ye Harriets, come! — ye Indian porters, | Talus and Una, my Reporters; | Tell, if you ever heard an oath | Disturb the debt of Nuptial troth" 2:527. Notes informs us that these characters are "The Wife's Abigail" and "An old servant"; Una and Talus are "Names which I gave to them" 527n.



'Twas here that Nature to the Poet's dream
Gave her enchanting forms, and bless'd his Muse
With scenes that MOLE his proud summit views
Enamour'd still; where MULLA'S wizard stream,
With hues unborrow'd of the Solar beam,
In frolic dance her glittering wave pursues;
Or where the cold and leafless rocks accuse
The ear, that heard unmov'd the giant-scream
Of many an ancient forest, crush'd and slain.
'Twas here that from Lismore, with state oppress'd,
The Fugitive took shelter: it was here
That verse could soothe Ambition's goading pain,
With charm inspir'd: — Historian, blot the rest!
And spare the Muses a degrading tear!

[3:21-22]