Joseph Warton

(1722 - 1800 / England)

Biography of Joseph Warton

Joseph Warton poet

English critic and poet, eldest son of Thomas Warton (see below), was baptized at Dunsfold, Surrey, on the 22nd of April 1722, and entered Winchester school on the foundation in 1735. William Collins was already there, and the two formed a friendship which was maintained through their Oxford career. They read Milton and Spenser together, and wrote verses, which, published in the Gentleman’s Magazine, attracted the attention of Dr Johnson. Warton went to Oriel College, Oxford, in 1740, and took his B.A. degree in 1744. He took holy orders, and during his father’s lifetime acted as his curate at Basingstoke. He then went to Chelsea, London; but eventually returned to Basingstoke. He married, became rector of Winslade (1748), of Tunworth (1754); in t755 he was appointed a master in Winchester school, and headmaster in 1766. He was not a successful schoolmaster, and when the boys mutinied against him for the third time he wisely resigned his position (1793).

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Ode to Music

Queen of every moving measure,
Sweetest source of purest pleasure,
Music; why thy powers employ
Only for the sons of joy?
Only for the smiling guests
At natal or at nuptial feasts?
Rather thy lenient numbers pour
On those whom secret griefs devour;
Bid be still the throbbing hearts

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