1774
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

On the Death of the late ingenious and incomparable Mathematician, Mr. George Coughron.

Town and Country Magazine 6 (May 1774) 272.

John Richardson


A pastoral elegy in seven anapestic quatrains signed "Traveller." John Richardson memorializes a talented young man of Newcastle: "His judgment, his genius how great; | His reasoning faculty strong: | A lawyer, an artist compleat, | And worthy, thrice worthy my song. A note informs us of Coughron's great mathematical accomplishment: "His answer to the Prize Question (in the Gentleman's Diary for 1772), which could only be effected by himself." Richardson would reprint this poem with several other pastoral ballads two decades later, when he was a schoolmaster at Sheffield Park. Unlike the unfortunate Coughlon, Richardson survived to the age of ninety, passing away in 1840. There is a brief memoir of him in John Holland's Poets of Yorkshire (1843).



Ye lovers of Science lament,
No longer must Coughron impart,
What deep in rich nature lies pent,
E'en truths of mysterious art.

A worthy acquaintance to all,
His passions were gen'rous and free;
Renowned, and great in his fall,
Nor saw more than years twenty-three.

On banks of meandering Tweed
The youth first would nature define;
But (urg'd by Minerva) agreed
To rifle her stores on the Tyne.

Each artist his aid wou'd implore,
Affirming him prince of the train;
Who could with such majesty soar,
As witness his CURVE on the plane.

His Phillis was heard in the groves,
Crying, "He that could please is no more;"
Thro' fields of Elysium he roves,
The king of all kings to adore!

His judgment, his genius how great;
His reasoning faculty strong:
A lawyer, an artist compleat,
And worthy, thrice worthy my song.

His praise future ages will ring,
Yea myriads of Coughron will tell;
In strains undulating they'll sing,
How wreathed with laurels he fell.

[p. 272]