Isaac Gompertz

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Isaac Gompertz (1774 – 1856) was an early English Jewish poet, who was compared by his contemporaries, including Alexander Jamieson, to Dryden, Pope, Addison and Gray. He was known for the poems "The Modern Antique", "Time, or Light and Shade" and "Devon"; his works received positive attention from Leigh Hunt and were well received by the press.



The Modern Antique; Or, The Muse in the Costume of Queen Anne (1813)


Text online at Google Books (London: W. Pople, 1813).

  • Why ridicule the act, the feeling blame,
    Which from the spider would the fly reclaim;
    Since from the reptile, in gradation due,
    'Twould link the world in sympathy to you?
    Let not this bold assertion ease thy mind,
    "This all is nature, and by heav'n design'd:"
    Would you not bless the arm, if stretch'd to save
    Your individual carcass from the grave?
    From the fierce tiger's unrelenting claw,
    Or rav'nous wolf; though Nature gave the law?
    • "To the Thoughtless", p. 307
  • If after ages grow more humaniz'd,
    And present cruelty almost forgot;
    How will the reader, shudd'ring, be surpris'd,
    At living lobsters in a boiling pot.
    • "On the Same", p. 307

Time, or Light and Shade (1815)


Text online at Google Books (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, 1815).

  • Too much you've view'd, too poignantly you've felt,
    Too long on human sufferings we've dwelt;
    These woful visions shift, but scenes appear,
    Which tho' less painful, cause the conscious tear.
    • "Time", Part IV, pp. 199–200