The Bronze Treasury: An Anthology of 81 Obscure English Poets Together with Their Biographical Portraits

The Bronze Treasury: An Anthology of 81 Obscure English Poets Together with Their Biographical Portraits

The Bronze Treasury: An Anthology of 81 Obscure English Poets Together with Their Biographical Portraits

The Bronze Treasury: An Anthology of 81 Obscure English Poets Together with Their Biographical Portraits

Excerpt

A man from the common people; face, bold and strong with prominent teeth that stuck out. The coarse-grained pleasures and pastimes of the multitude appealed to him. He liked witnessing bear-baitings, and fights between enraged bulls and ferocious bull-dogs . . . as later, Thomas Warton enjoyed sitting in at hangings.

He loafed about in taverns and ale-houses, enjoying the ribald, unlettered, original-spirited companionship to be found there. . . . These robust propensities did not deter him from becoming poet-laureate and from being recognized by Erasmus as the great Latinist he was . . . nor from taking orders, and serving as rector of Biis in Norfolk for twenty-five years.

Skelton was a man of courage. He did not tremble at attacking the great Cardinal Wolsey when the latter was at the height of his power, in "Why Come Ye Not to Court?" He was compelled to take sanctuary to avoid the consequences of the cardinal's fury.

Skelton poured out pages of rough, profuse, helter-skelter macaronic verse, mostly satirici, -- in that headlong, brief metrical form since known as "Skeltonic."

In the thick and torrent of his verse you will often come upon passages of unexpected beauty, sheer as a waterfall.

A Rabelais in little. . . .

Pope averred that Skelton's poems were vulgar and bad. But the Pope who wrote "Imitations of the Older Poets . . ."

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