William Mason (poet)

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William Mason (12 February 1724 – 7 April 1797) was an English poet, editor and gardener.


  • When'er with soft serenity she smiled,
        Or caught the orient blush of quick surprise,
    How sweetly mutable, how brightly wild,
        The liquid lustre darted from her eyes?
  • The fattest hog in Epicurus' sty.
    • Heroic Epistle, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919). Compare: "Me pinguem et nitidum bene curata cute vises, ...Epicuri de grege porcum" (translated: "You may see me, fat and shining, with well-cared for hide,—…a hog from Epicurus' herd"), Horace, Epistolæ, lib. i. iv. 15, 16.

Quotes about William Mason

  • There is hardly a writer of his period who is so little known in our day and whose poems ran through so many editions in his own day. The reviews praised his works; Gray spoke highly of them; Walpole was all adulation; Mrs. Siddons acted in one of his plays; Reynolds annotated one of his poems; Johnson admitted the power of his satire; and Warton went out of his way to bestow supreme commendation upon his didactic poetry. Works by Mason were done into German, French, and Italian; and more than a score of early biographies testify to the interest in his life and personality.