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Home arrow Types of source arrow 18th-century arrow Anna Seward arrow Unrecorded (poetry) arrow 18c top-up
18c top-up
Examples from Seward's poetry which build up OED's quotation record for the eighteenth century to (or near) the same level as that for the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries: Seward Table 4b

OED dates
Date of text
'When anchor'd Navies crowd the peopled lake' ('Hoyle Lake', in Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 19)
1611, a1687, a1725 (Pope), 1837, 1878
1794 (1796)
Two seventeenth-century, two nineteenth-century, and one eighteenth-century quotation. Other eighteenth-century examples are easily identifiable on ECCO.
'Sublime the ponderous turrets rise in air, / And the wide roof basaltic columns bear' (Elegy on Captain Cook, p. 11)
1772, 1813, 1843
OED often documents the first occurrence of words with several quotations close in date (if appropriate) - so Seward's example would be helpful.
bound n.1
'When anchor'd Navies...deck the distant Ocean's skiey bound' ('Hoyle Lake', in Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 19)
...1615, 1635, 1752, 1809, 1839
1794 (1796)
Two seventeenth-century, two nineteenth-century, and one eighteenth-century quotation; NB also that all the OED quotations for this sense (= '2. a. The boundary line of a territory or estate; gen. a limit or boundary, that to which anything extends in space') have the noun in plural form. So Seward's usage definitely deserves record. The only quotation with a singular form is for sense 3b, instanced solely by Shakespeare: ('1596 SHAKES. 1 Hen. IV, V. iv. 90 When that this bodie did containe a spirit, A Kingdome for it was too small a bound').
'Thy modest Evening draws the deep'ning shades / O'er her green hills, and bowery glades' ('Ode to the Sun', p. 22)
1704 (Pope), 1824, 1876
OED defines as: 'Of the nature of a bower; embowering, leafy'. Seward's quotation supplies a gap in the representation of eighteenth-century usage of this popular poetic term.
curl, v.1 (transitive)
'What tho' they vex the Lak'e cerulean stream, / And curl its billows on the shelly floor' ('Hoyle Lake', in Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 19)
1562, 1597, 1667 (Milton), 1715-20 (Pope), 1814 (Scott), 1818, 1861
1794 (1796)
This is OED1/2 sense 3a: 'To bend, twist, or coil up into a spiral or incurved shape; to make curls or undulations upon (a surface); to ripple (water)'. OED's other quotations show that Seward is participating in a tradition of classic poetic diction, and her example marks an interim point between Pope and Scott (and corrects the implication of the present run of quotations that the usage took off more in the nineteenth-century).
'Night's sullen spirit groans in ev'ry gale, / And o'er the waters draws the darkling veil' (Elegy on Captain Cook, p. 17)
1739, 1855. 1865
This is OED1/2 sense 2: 'Characterized by darkness; lying in darkness; showing itself darkly; darksome, obscure'; Seward's example balances the two nineteenth-century quotations.
'For her [the sun], with delegated right, / Thy virgin-sister in thy absence shines' ('Ode to the Sun', p. 20)
1654, 1753-8, 1861, 1867
OED1/2 sense 2: 'Entrusted or committed (to a deputy).' The OED's current documentation, from works on the constitution or on history, gives the impression that this sense was slow to be established; Seward's poetic use show its absorption into more general usage.
'to letter'd ease devote' (Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 6)
1596, 1597, 1613, 1667, 1747, 1839
OED1/2 : 'A. ppl. a. = DEVOTED. a. with to.' Seward's use evens out the run of attestation from 1667 onwards.
'thy bright eye the dubious pilot guides, / The faint oar struggling with the scalding tides' (Elegy on Captain Cook, p. 5)
1632, 1710, 1865, 1874
OED1/2 sense 2: 'Subjectively doubtful; wavering or fluctuating in opinion; hesitating; inclined to doubt.'
dusk, adj.
'What strains Aeolian thrill the dusk expanse' (Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 9)
...1513, 1667, 1703, 1832, 1847
OED1/2 : 'A. adj. (Now largely supplanted by dusky.) 1. Dark from absence of light; dim, gloomy, shadowy...'.
embryon, adj.
'Then Wisdom's Goddess plants the embryon seed, / And bids new foliage shade the sultry mead' (Elegy on Captain Cook, p. 10)
1616, 1667, 1728, 1813, 1835
Two seventeenth-century, one eighteenth-century, two nineteenth-century quotations.
'in the festal dawn of Richard's reign' (Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 2)
1479, 1740, 1838, 1847
OED1/2 sense 1: 'Of or pertaining to a feast or festivity'. OED has few quotations for this sense, and this one builds up eighteenth-century representation.
infest v.2
'This gentle Pair no glooms of thought infest' (Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 11)
...1646, 1647, 1726, 1846, 1850
As frequently, the eighteenth century is under-represented. OED1/2 sense 1: 'trans. To attack, assail, annoy, or trouble (a person or thing) in a persistent manner; to molest by repeated attacks; to harass. Said a. Of persons, animals, hurtful things. Now rare.'
'Tho' the skies darken, and the whirlwind raves, / They [i.e. waves] froth,--but rush innoxious to the shore' ('Hoyle Lake', in Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 18)
1638, 1703, 1831, 1843
1794 (1796)
Builds up eighteenth-century attestation.
'Next Fauna treads, in youthful beauty's pride, / A playful Kangroo bounding by her side' (Elegy on Captain Cook, p. 12)
1773, 1774, 1796, 1845, 1884
This word is well illustrated with contemporary quotations, all from sources relating to natural history or exploration (the first from an account of Cook's first voyage). Seward's has a particular value, however, since it shows the absorption of the term into less specialized discourse (i.e. public poetry) - although a footnote does explain what the animal is, indicating her expectation that it may not be recognized.
'Circling the lawny crescent, soon they rose' (Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 7 (also p. 15))
1613-16, 1727-46, 1809, 1822, 1871
OED1/2 : 'a. Containing lawns or glades (obs.). b. Resembling a lawn; covered with smooth green turf.'
lour, lower, n.1
'With jealous low'r the frowning natives view / The stately vessel, and th'advent'rous crew' (Elegy on Captain Cook, p. 8)
...1530, 1578, 1598, 1704, 1814
Under-documented generally in OED for this sense: '1. A gloomy or sullen look; a frown, scowl.'
'The lurid atmosphere portentous low'rs; / Night's sullen spirit groans in ev'ry gale' (Elegy on Captain Cook, p. 17)
1656, 1658 (both dictionaries), 1669, 1746, 1822-34, 1874
Three seventeenth-century, one eighteenth-century, two nineteenth-century quotations. OED1/2: '1. Pale and dismal in colour; wan and sallow; ghastly of hue. Said e.g. of the sickly pallor of the skin in disease, or of the aspect of things when the sky is overcast.'
'O! Harp of Cumbria, never hast thou known / Notes more mellifluent' (Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 5)
(Four seventeenth-century)...1652, 1757, 1827, 1888...
OED3 (draft revision December 2008): '= mellifluous'. Further eighteenth-century example to supplement the existing four seventeenth-century, one eighteenth-century, two nineteenth-century quotations.
'screen'd by mural rocks' (Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 6)
...1624, 1667, 1737, 1807, 1842, 1871
OED3 (draft revision September 2009) provides only one eighteenth-century quotation for this sense, which is 3a, 'Of, relating to, or resembling a wall'). Seward's example is a useful addition.
'Around the nymph her beauteous Pois display / Their varied plumes, and trill the dulcet lay' (Elegy on Captain Cook, p. 12)
1773, 1773, 1777, 1782, 1817, 1865, 1896, 1898
As with kangaroo from the same source, Seward's use provides an instance of the word from a literary (poetic), rather than natural historical (or historical) source. OED3's definition (draft revision September 2006) specifically refers to Cook: 'More fully poë bird, poë honey-eater. The tui or parson bird, Prosthemadura novaeseelandiae, a name used by Cook's company and some other early visitors to New Zealand'. As with kangaroo, Seward provides an explanatory footnote.
'Sense and Virtue's blended influence dart / The look, the voice, resistless to the heart' (Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 13 (also p. 18))
...1656, 1693, 1748 (Johnson), 1813, 1874
OED1/2: 'that cannot be resisted; irresistible'. Seward's use builds up eighteenth-century attestation, which as so often is less well represented in OED than the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries.
'Her SAINTED MAID, amid the bursting tomb, / Hears the LAST TRUMPET' (Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 14)
1631, a1633, 1717 (Pope), 1845, 1855
OED1/2 sense 1: 'Enrolled among the saints; canonized; that is a saint in Heaven'; NB Seward is referring to a statue here.
'When anchor'd Navies...deck the distant Ocean's skiey bound' ('Hoyle Lake', in Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 19)
?1793 (Coleridge), 1814 ( Cary), 1818 (Keats)...
1794 (1796)
A distinctly poetic usage, judging from OED's other quotations; Seward's may antedate Coleridge's given that the date of the latter is insecure?
'Wide o'er her plains thy living lustres stream [i.e. the sun'], / In Lapland's long pale day, and swart Numidia's beam' ('Ode to the Sun', p. 19)
...1601, 1602, 1682, 1794 ( Col), 1811 (Scott), 1890
Three seventeenth-century, one eighteenth-century, two nineteenth-century quotations. OED1/2 notes: 'Now only rhet. or poet. (or dial.)'; the definition is 'Dark in colour; black or blackish; dusky, swarthy'; NB Seward's use is grouped with Coleridge and Scott. (NB this may more properly be an example of sense 1b, 'Of the skin or complexion, or of persons in respect of these', for which OED has no eighteenth-century quotations; cf. swart in Table 4a).
swell, v.
'Blue Deva swells her mirror to the woods' ('Hoyle Lake', in Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 17)
1605, 1662, 1697, 1709, 1813
1794 (1796)
OED1/2 sense 2b seems the best fit, as transitive and referring to water: 'To cause (the sea, a river, etc.) to rise in waves, as the wind, or (more usually) above the ordinary level, as rain.' The 1709 example is 'These slow running Rivers do gradually swell up the Sea' - the other quotations, like Seward's, do not feature a preposition.
'while Britannia, to his virtues just, / Twines the bright wreath, and rears th'immortal bust' (Elegy on Captain Cook, p. 17)
1612, 1697, 1709, 1817, 1868
OED1/2 sense 1, a-d, has far fewer eighteenth-century quotations than it does seventeenth- and nineteenth-century. This is sense 1c: 'transf. To form by interlacing; to weave, to wreathe', and Seward's example would help balance out the documentation.
'To these the Hero leads his living store, / And pours new wonders on th'uncultur'd shore' (Elegy on Captain Cook, p. 9)
...1607, 1633, 1762-9, 1804, 1872
Two seventeenth-century, one eighteenth-century, two nineteenth-century quotations. NB also that this Seward example and the next illustrate different meanings of the word which OED might with profit differentiate: in the one case, not (agriculturally) cultivated so not yielding any produce; in the other, not (agriculturally) cultivated so yielding wild (and by implication beautiful) produce.
'First gentle Flora--round her smiling brow / Leaves of new forms, and flowr's uncultur'd glow' (Elegy on Captain Cook, p. 11)
...1607, 1633, 1762-9, 1804, 1872
(See above.)
'deck'd with vermeil youth and beamy grace, / Hope in her step and gladness in her face' (Elegy on Captain Cook, p. 6)
1759, 1800
Arguably, this sense is not covered by OED1/2's entry. It seems to mean 'red-blooded', i.e. vigorous and youthful - playing on the idea that crimson signifies blood. OED sense 1 = crimson (with only one eighteenth-century quotation, two seventeenth-century, and many nineteenth-century); sense 1b is 'Freq. of the countenance, lips, etc.'; then a further two quotations are separated off and treated thus: 'transf. 1759 MALLET Fragment Wks. I. 50 The vivid pulse, the vermil grace,..Youth, beauty, pleasure, all are thine! 1800 MOORE Anacreon xiv. note 3 So many vermil, honeyed kisses, Envy can never count our blisses'. Seward's example shows that the transferred (i.e. figurative) sense suggested here has independent life to it and swells the examples.
'this dove...shall...quit on wearied wing the hostile plain' (Elegy on Captain Cook, p. 8)
...1628, a1646, 1667, 1746, 1820, 1823, 1840, 1841, 1872, 1888
Three seventeenth-century, one eighteenth-century, six nineteenth-century quotations; many other eighteenth-century examples can be found.
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