Saturday, February 11, 2012

William Shenstone

  Yet though thou shouldst be dragg'd in scorn
  To yonder ignominious tree,
  Thou shall not want one faithful friend
  To share the cruel fates' decree.
                   Ballad of Jemmy Dawson.

Chapter XXX of Walter Scott’s “The Fortunes of Nigel” begins with the motto above.  The work quoted from is included in “Description of the Leasowes" by William Shenstone.  Shenstone's friend Robert Dodsley felt that the poet had had a strong influence on Walter Scott.   According to Arthur Raleigh Humphreys, in his biography of Shenstone:

 ‘..Robert Dodsley paid tribute to his friend’s memory by adding to his edition of Shenstone’s Works a “Description of the Leasowes” with a map – a description which powerfully affected the imagination of Sir Walter Scott as a boy….’

English poet William Shenstone died on February 11, 1763. 

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