Poet: Thomas Warton
Dates: 9 January 1728 – 21 May 1790
Title of Poem: Written at Stonehenge
Thou noblest monument of Albion’s isle!
Whether by Merlin’s aid, from Scythia’s shore,
To Amber’s fatal plain Pendragon bore,
Huge frame of giant-hands, the mighty pile
T’ entomb his Britons slain by Hengist’s guile:
Or Druid priests, sprinkled with human gore,
Taught ‘mid thy massy maze their mystic lore:
Or Danish chiefs, enrich’d with savage spoil,
To Victory’s idol vast, an unhewn shrine,
Rear’d the rude heap: or, in thy hallow’d round,
Repose the kings of Brutus’ genuine line;
Or here those kings in solemn state were crown’d:
Studious to trace thy wondrous origine,
We muse on many an ancient tale renown’d.
Brief Biography: At the age of just 17 Warton wrote his most famous poem The Pleasures of Melancholy. He was Poet Laureate of Oxford and then of England as well as Professor of Poetry at Oxford University. Warton preferred to write light verse, odes and sonnets and his sonnets helped a revival of the form as it had fallen out of fashion.