John Skelton: The Critical Heritage

By Anthony S. G.Edwards | Go to book overview

7.

ROBERT WHITTINTON IN PRAISE OF SKELTON, THE ‘LEARNED POET’

1519

From Whittinton’s poem ‘In clarissimi Scheltonis Louaniensis poeta: laudes epigramma’ (‘On the most famous John Skelton, poet of Louvain: laudatory epigrams’) included in his ‘Opusculum Roberti Whittintoni in florentissima Oxoniensi achademia Laureati’ (1519), Sigs c iiiiv-viii, STC 25540.5. The work is a series of laudatory poems addressed to such contemporary figures as Henry VIII, Thomas More and Cardinal Wolsey.

I have adopted Dyce’s emendation of Tum for Cum in line 75. Whittinton’s astrological preamble (lines 1-34) has been omitted.

Whittinton (fl. 1519) was the author of a number of grammatical treatises.


Nubifer assurgit mons Pierus atque Cithaeron, 35 Gryneumque nemus dehinc Heliconque sacer;
Inde et Parnasi bifidi secreta subimus,
Tota ubi Mnemosynes sancta propago manet.
Turba pudica novem dulce hic cecinere sororum;
Delius in medio plectra chelynque sonat: 40Aurifluis laudat modulis monumenta suorum
Vatum, quos dignos censet honore poli:
De quo certarunt Salamin, Cumae, vel Athenae,
Smyrna, Chios, Colophon, primus Homerus erat;
Laudat et Orpheum, domuit qui voce leones, 45 Eurydicen Stygiis qui rapuitque rogis;
Antiquum meminit Musaeum Eumolpide natum,
Te nec Aristophanes Euripidesque tacet;
Vel canit illustrem genuit quem Teia tellus,
Quemque fovit dulci Coa camena sinu; 50Deinde cothurnatum celebrem dat laude Sophoclem,
Et quam Lesbides pavit amore Phaon;
Aeschylus, Amphion, Thespis nec honore carebant,
Pindarus, Alcaeus, quem tuleratque Paros;
Suat alii plures genuit quos terra Pelasga, 55 Daphnaeum cecinit quos meruisse decus:
Tersa Latinorum dehinc multa poemata texit,
Laude nec Argivis inferiora probat;
Insignem tollit ter vatem, cui dedit Andes
Cunas urbs, clarum Parthenopaea taphum; 60Blanda Corinna, tui Ponto religatus amore,

-49-

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