1778
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

On the Lord Bishop of Chester.

Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser (26 March 1778).

C. Car-n


Five ballad quatrains signed "C. Car—n, Lambeth, March 17" praise Beilby Porteus, recently installed as Bishop of Chester. In addition to acquiring reputation as a poet, Porteus was a notable preacher: ""His language (I sung) with the drops may compare, | That fall in a gentle cascade; | Or the delicate accents that swell in the air, | When the swain breathes his pipe in the shade." This is a most unusual choice for a patronage poem the epigraph is taken from Virgil: "Qui te, Pollio, amat; veniat, quo te quoque gaudet." Porteus was an associate of Hannah More, who had been receiving considerable attention in the pages of the Morning Chronicle about this time.



When the roses of Eve were unfolded in Heav'n,
I join'd the gay pastoral throng;
To share in the joys to simplicity giv'n,
And finish the day with a song.

In turn ev'ry shepherd invited the Muse,
His friend or his fav'rite to praise;
Rash gratitude urg'd me, great Chester, to choose
A theme for more elegant lays.

"His language (I sung) with the drops may compare,
That fall in a gentle cascade;
Or the delicate accents that swell in the air,
When the swain breathes his pipe in the shade.

"His thoughts for refreshment and sweetness with fruits,
In rich Autumn, or spoils of the bee;
But what in all nature for simile suits,
With his granting a favour so free?"

"Hold, hold!" cry'd Menalcas, the sage of the plains,
"Leave his virtues in private, my friend;
Or, instead of this evening concluding your strains,
'Twill be years ere you come to an end."

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