Sunday, December 19, 2010

William Diaper

Here is a young fellow has writ some Sea Eclogues, poems of Mermen, resembling pastorals of shepherds, and they are very pretty, and the thought is new. Mermen are he-mermaids; Tritons, natives of the sea. Do you understand me? I think to recommend him to our Society to-morrow. His name is Diaper. P— on him, I must do something for him, and get him out of the way. I hate to have any new wits rise, but when they do rise I would encourage them; but they tread on our heels and thrust us off the stage. - Jonathan Swift

William Diaper (1685–1717) is a somewhat obscure poet, more appreciated in his time than in ours. Little is known of his life, and he died at a young age leaving us only a few works to appreciate. His most important work, published in 1712, was Nereides, or Sea-Eclogues. It was a lovely attempt to recreate the pastoral. It consists of fourteen dialogues of the sea nymphs and tritons.

Tracking down these Eclogues has been a task (of course after purchasing the book, Amazon put up several.)

My Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa gift to you all is putting them up for you to enjoy! Starting tomorrow I will put up one a day until they are finished.


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