Poetry and the invention of Britain - University of Sheffield

Poetry and the invention of Britain - University of Sheffield

Poetry and the invention of Britain Birthing Britain Recognisably Modern World The enlightenment Political Upheaval Republic and Revolution New Britain Politics, Power and Conflict Jacobite invasions at

home World power abroad Seven-years war Global warfare East India Company Whigs and Tories Money, Money, Money Bank of England Established 1694 (credit economy, credit-worthiness and VALUE new secular way of measuring worth.

National Debt Credit Economy Rise of the middling sort or middling rank The rise of Stuff Consumer society (ability to define yourself by what you buy and consume) Coffee, tea, sugar,

chocolate Modern dress and handkerchiefs Newspapers Major Literary Change Public sphere of debate Rise of the novel Transformation of poetry Radical changes to stage

New kinds of writing 1 When Britain first at Heaven's command 2 Arose from out the azure main, 3 This was the charter of her land, 4 And guardian angels sung the strain: 5 Rule, Britannia! Britannia rules the waves! 6 Britons never shall be slaves

7 The nations not so blest as thee 8 Must in their turn to tyrants fall, 9 Whilst thou shalt flourish great and free 10 The dread and envy of them all. 11 Still more majestic shalt thou rise, 12 More dreadful from each foreign stroke; 13 As the loud blast that tears the skies 14 Serves but to root thy native oak. James Thomson, Rule Britannia (1740)

15 Thee haughty tyrants ne'er shall tame; 16 All their attempts to bend thee down 17 Will but arouse thy generous flame, 18 And work their woe and thy renown. 19 To thee belongs the rural reign; 20 Thy cities shall with commerce shine; 21 All thine shall be the subject main, 22 And every shore it circles thine

James Thomson, Rule Britannia (1740) 383 Thy trees, fair Windsor! now shall leave their woods, 384 And half thy forests rush into my floods, 385 Bear Britain's thunder, and her Cross display, 386 To the bright regions of the rising day; 387 Tempt icy seas, where scarce the waters roll, 388 Where clearer flames glow round the frozen Pole; 389 Or under southern skies exalt their sails, 390 Led by new stars, and borne by spicy gales! 391 For me the balm shall bleed, and amber flow, Alexander Pope, from Windsor Forest (1713)

392 393 394 395 396 397 398 399 400 The coral redden, and the ruby glow, The pearly shell its lucid globe infold,

And Phoebus warm the ripening ore to gold. The time shall come, when free as seas or wind Unbounded Thames shall flow for all mankind, Whole nations enter with each swelling tyde, And seas but join the regions they divide; Earth's distant ends our glory shall behold, And the new world launch forth to seek the old. Alexander Pope, from Windsor Forest (1713) 317 318 319 320

321 322 A True-Born Englishman's a Contradiction, In Speech an Irony, in Fact a Fiction: A Banter made to be a Test of Fools, Which those that use it justly ridicules: A Metaphor invented to express A Man a-kin to all the Universe. 323 324 325

326 For as the Scots, as Learned Men ha' said, Throughout the World their Wand'ring Seed have spread; So open-handed England 'tis believ'd, Has all the Gleanings of the World receiv'd. Daniel Defoe, from The True-Born Englishman (1700) Milton: from Lycidas (1637) 1 2

3 4 5 6 7 Yet once more, O ye Laurels, and once more Ye Myrtles brown, with Ivy never-sear, I com to pluck your Berries harsh and crude, And with forc'd fingers rude, Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year. Bitter constraint, and sad occasion dear, Compels me to disturb your season due:

192 At last he rose, and twitch'd his Mantle blew: 193 To morrow to fresh Woods, and Pastures new. Thomas Gray (1716-1771). Titlepage from Thomas Gray's bestselling An Elegy Wrote in a Country Church Yard (1751) From: Thomas Gray's An Elegy Wrote in a Country Church Yard (1751) 1

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,

The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea, The ploughman homeward plods his weary way, And leaves the world to darkness and to me. Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, And all the air a solemn stillness holds, Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight, And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds; Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower The moping owl does to the moon complain Of such as, wandering near her secret bower, Molest her ancient solitary reign.

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