WHITEFIELD, WILLIAM (1715-1785) and HORACE WALPOLE (1714-1791)
Lot 509
WHITEFIELD, WILLIAM (1715-1785) and HORACE WALPOLE (1714-1791) MANUSCRIPT OF WHITEHEAD'S POEM 'ON THE DEATH OF LORD HARCOURT'S GARDINER 1782', [1782]
Sold for £1,125 (US$ 1,757) inc. premium

Lot Details
WHITEFIELD, WILLIAM (1715-1785) and HORACE WALPOLE (1714-1791)
MANUSCRIPT OF WHITEHEAD'S POEM 'ON THE DEATH OF LORD HARCOURT'S GARDINER 1782', title and attribution in the hand of Horace Walpole, the text evidently in a scribal hand, 48 lines, 4 pages, quarto, professional repairs [1782]

On him whose very Soul was here,
Whose dutious, careful, constant toil,
Had varied with the varying Year
To make this gay profusion Smile,
Whose harmless life, in silent flow,
Within these circling Shades had passed,
What happier death could Heaven bestow
Than in these Shades to breathe his last...

This poem was inscribed on a stone to the memory of Walter Clark at Nuneham. Walpole and Whitehead, with William Mason, were regular visitors to the Harcourts at Nuneham Courtenay in Oxfordshire. Whitehead wrote a series of occasional verses for them including an elegy to George Viscount Harcourt, lines to Lady Nuneham on the death of her sister and other poetical inscriptions and verses affectionately invoking Nuneham as a source of harmony. Walpole may have received this manuscript on one of his visits. He mentions Whitehead in his letters to the Harcourts, knew him personally and had several of his books in his library.

Walpole would have taken an interest in Walter Clark, whom he clearly knew and who made appearances in his own poem 'To Nuneham' dated 17 August 1773:

...But, Walter Clark, your happy lot
Is fallen in a fairer spot:
A Muse has deign'd to view your bow'r,
And stamp'd immortal ev'ry flow'r...

The lilies of the field that shone
With brighter blaze than Solomon
Shall beg to quit their rural stations,
And mix with Walter Clark's carnations -

PROVENANCE: A. Arthur Houghton.
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