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Elijah Fenton (20 May 1683 – 16 July 1730) was an English poet, biographer and translator.
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Mariamne: A Tragedy (1723)
- A while she stood
Transformed by grief to marble, and appeared
Her own pale monument; but when she breathed
The secret anguish of her wounded soul,
So moving were the plaints! they would have soothed
The stooping falcon to suspend his flight,
And spare his morning prey.
- Act III, Scene I, p. 25
- Wedded love is founded on esteem.
- Act IV, Scene V, p. 45
- Beware of flattery! 'tis a flowery weed,
Which oft offends the very idol-vice,
Whose shrine it would perfume.
- Act IV, Scene V, p. 46
- O blissful poverty!
Nature, too partial! to thy lot assigns
Health, freedom, innocence, and downy peace,
Her real goods: and only mocks the great
With empty pageantries!
- Act V, Scene I, p. 56
- Fear, guilt, despair, and moon-struck frenzy rush
On voluntary death: the wise and brave,
When the fierce storms of fortune round 'em roar,
Combat the billows with redoubled force:
Then, if they perish ere the port is gained,
They sink with decent pride; and from the deep
Honour retrieves them, bright as rising stars.
- Act V, Scene VII, pp. 66–67
Quotes about Fenton
- No man living better deserves the character of an honest and ingenious man; no one I would sooner depend upon for all the parts of a good writer and good friend—free from the vanities and weaknesses of both; whose honour and trust, I dare say, are as sacred as his writings are blameless in morality, and whose life and conduct are as correct as they.
- Alexander Pope, letter to William Broome (23 August 1726), in The Works of Alexander Pope: Correspondence (1872), pp. 124–125
- A poet, blest beyond the poet's fate,
Whom Heaven kept sacred from the Proud and Great:
Foe to loud praise, and friend to learned ease,
Content with science in the vale of peace.
Calmly he looked on either life, and here
Saw nothing to regret, or there to fear;
From Nature's temperate feast rose satisfied,
Thanked Heaven that he lived, and that he died.
- Alexander Pope, Epitaph to Elijah Fenton: "On Mr. Elijah Fenton", at Easthamstead in Berkshire, 1730.
- Hale, Sarah Josepha, ed. A Complete Dictionary of Poetical Quotations. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1855.
- Mariamne: A Tragedy. Acted at the Theatre Royal in Lincoln's-Inn-Fields. Written by Mr. Fenton. First Edition. London, 1723.