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Transience, Quaker Poetics and 'Softer Grace': Bernard Barton's 'A Day in Autumn'

'Who has not heard of Bernard Barton,' wrote poet laureate, Robert Southey in the pages of the Quarterly Review in 1831. The answer to the rhetorical question was, of course, meant to be virtually no-one - for the Quaker literary culture of which Barton was a part was so surprisingly vibrant that 'the poems of [fellow Quaker writers] Mary and William Howitt are known to all lovers of poetry'.

Of course, in age where Southey himself is a writer for specialists, the Howitts and Barton are forgotten. Unlike the American 'Quaker poet', John Greenleaf Whittier, there are no perennial school-taught verses to give the British 'Quaker poet' (for Barton needed no other appellation in the periodical press of the time) a prolonged posterity.
Yet this is the corner of nineteenth-century literary culture that I'm currently spending an enjoyable time rooting about within. So here's a reading of Barton's 'A Day in Autumn' (full text link here; ori…
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