LEWIS, MATTHEW GREGORY (1775-1818)
AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF HIS POEM 'THE MOTHER'S ALARM', signed ('M.G. Lewis') and with the legend 'Imitated from the Greek', 24 lines, in four six-line stanzas 'with a two-word revision to the first line of the third stanza, 2 pages, octavo, central panel of the verso of the second leaf inscribed by Lewis 'Lord Henry Petty', pencil date 1802
With gaudy flowers the Cliff was gay;
A child had thither crept in play,
And o'er the brink was bending:
His Mother came; She saw her Boy,
Her love, her hope, her pride, her joy,
One Crag his fall suspending!...
POSSIBLY UNPUBLISHED: all poetical manuscripts by 'Monk' Lewis are scarce; only one other has appeared at auction in the last forty years or more. Henry Petty, a friend of Lewis, was later Lord Lansdowne and Chancellor of the Exchequer. No publication of this poem has been found: it is not in Tales of Wonder and it is not mentioned by Peck.
PROVENANCE: Bowood House.
REFERENCES: M.G. Lewis MP, Tales of Wonder, 2 volumes, 1801; Louis F. Peck, A Life of Matthew G. Lewis, 1961.