The Collected Poems of Laurence Whyte

The Collected Poems of Laurence Whyte
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Michael Griffin
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The poetry of Laurence Whyte (1740–1742) provides a fascinating window into the literary, political, and musical cultures of eighteenth-century Ireland. Situating Whyte as a missing link between the poetic styles and political world views of Jonathan Swift and Oliver Goldsmith, this edition of Whyte’s collected poems, extensively introduced and annotated, brings his engaging, witty, and poignant work to a new readership.
Though his name might not be familiar to many twenty-first century readers, Laurence Whyte (d.1753) is an important missing link in eighteenth-century Ireland’s literary and musical histories. A rural poet who established himself in Dublin as a teacher of mathematics and as an active member (and poetic chronicler) of the much admired and supported Charitable Musical Society, Whyte was a poet of considerable talent and dexterity, and his body of work yields a wealth of insight into the intersecting cultures of his time and place. Published in 1740 and 1742, Whyte’s writing, by turns humorous and poignant, insightful and nostalgic, straddled the worlds of Gaelic and Anglo-Irish, of the rural midlands and the capital, of Catholic and Protestant. Some of the dualities explored in his verse were present, to varying extents, in the work of Jonathan Swift and Oliver Goldsmith. In matters poetical, political and cultural, Whyte is an important, though as yet neglected and unstudied, figure. This edition, comprehensively introduced and annotated, retrieves him from that neglect.


A Note on the Text

The Preface [to the original 1740/42 editions]

To Mr. Allan Ramsay, on the Author’s making him a Present of one of his Books.



THE PARTING CUP, Or, The HUMOURS of Deoch an Doruis.

The Captain’s Retreat. A Tale in two Canto’s.

The Broken Mug. A Tale.

A Short View of Parnassus, being a Sequel to the Broken Mug.

Some Critical Annotations, on various Subjects, which have been handled by several Authors.

A Dissertation on Italian, and Irish Musick.

A POEM in Praise of Toast and Butter

AN ELEGY on the much lamented Death of Patt. Beaghan

The Hue and Cry after the Clieve-Boy, Dublin Feb. 22nd. 1725.

The Inchantment. A Tale.

The Fatigues of a Faithful Curate

To the Rev. Dr. Jonathan Swift, Dean of St. Patrick’s, Dublin, on the publishing of a new Edition of his Works in four Volumes.

TO Mrs. Mary and Elizabeth Burgh, Daughters of the Honourable Captain Thomas Burgh

An ELEGY on the much Lamented Death of that Excellent Mathematician, Mr. ROBERT STEELE

An ELEGY, On the much Lamented Death of Mr. Arthur Judge

A Divine POEM on the Nativity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, written December the 25th, 1733.

A POEM on a Hexagon fortified according to Monsieur Vauban’s Method



To the Right Honourable Nicholas, Lord Viscount Netterville

A Funeral ELEGY on the much lamented Death of Frances, Lady Dutchess of Tyrconnel

On St. Patrick’s-Eve. Dublin, Friday March the 16th, 1738.

To Mr. Am——se F——l, on the Birthof his first-born Richard

The Old Westmeath-Ballad; or, Young Bobb’s Lamentation for the Deathof Old Sara

An Occasional PROLOGUE to the Miser, acted June the 23rd. 1736

An Epithalamium on the Nuptials of Min-heer Van Hoey, with Miss B—, by Wayof Letter to Mr. G— F—r.

ABURLESQUE upon MUSICK, Or a CURE for a SCOLD; together with a Recipe to drive away Rats andMice. By Dr. C——.

An Historical POEM, On the Rise and Progress of the Charitable and Musical Society

An Occasional Prologue design’d for the Provok’d Husband, or a Journey to London

An Elegy on the much lamented Deathof the Right Honourable Henry, Lord Viscount Dillon

Mr. Barnaby Harrington’s Apology for the Erratas, in his Book call’d, Barnabyae Itinerarium, a new English Version.

[Poems added in the second edition (1742)]

A Poem on The general Effect and Excellency of Musick



GAFFER and GAMMER,with the Humours of a bad Landlord. A TALE.

Some Yearly OBSERVATIONS on Astrologers.

A POETICAL Description of Mr. NEAL’S new Musick-Hall in Fishamble-Street

Ready Wit as good as ready Money

Four different ALPHABETS in Verse to induce Children to Read and Write.

The seven Liberal Arts, Grammar, Rhetorick, Logic, Musick, Arithmetick, Geometry, and Astronomy

A Translation of the Motto to Cardinal Fleury’s Picture.

On the Emperor Domitian’s return to Rome.

To the Revd. Dr.—— on his going to reside in the Country.

The Character of an Honest Jolly Companion from the lrish Language.

To my much honoured, and well beloved Friend——on presenting him with two Large Maps, one of the World, and another of Europe.

Some Letters of Acknowledgment wrote by a Miss of eight Years old, to her Father and Mother

To all the Worthy Gentlemen who frequent P—’s Coffee-House. The humble PETITION, of Tom G—y.

On a Lawyer’s old Breeches.

On the Death of Sir Isaac Newton, Knight, and President of the Royal Society.

Appendix 1

From Faulkner’s Dublin Journal, 17–20 April, 1742.

On Mr. Handel’s performance of his Oratorio, called the Messiah.

Appendix 2

List of Subscribers



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