John Langhorne (poet)

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John Langhorne (March 17351 April 1779) was an English poet and clergyman, best known for his work on translating Plutarch's Lives.


  • Cold on Canadian hills or Minden’s plain,
    Perhaps that parent mourned her soldier slain;
    Bent o'er her babe, her eye dissolved in dew,
    The big drops mingling with the milk he drew
    Gave the sad presage of his future years,—
    The child of misery, baptized in tears.
    • The Country Justice, Part i, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919). This allusion to the dead soldier and his widow on the field of battle was made the subject of a print by Bunbury, under which were engraved the pathos-laden lines of Langhorne. Sir Walter Scott mentioned that the only time he saw Burns this picture was in the room. Burns shed tears over it; and Scott, then a lad of fifteen, was the only person present who could tell him where the lines were to be found. In Lockhart, Life of Scott, vol. i. chap. iv.

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