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The Poetry of W.H. Ireland (1801-1815) Including the Poet's Imitations, Satires, Romantic Verses, and Commentaries on Coleridge, Wordsworth, Southey, and Others
Edited by Kahan, Jeffrey


William-Henry Ireland's footnote in history is secure: he is the boy who forged the "lost" Shakespeare play Vortigern. The question is, should he be remembered for more than his Shakespearean tomfoolery? Ireland wrote a vast amount of poetry after his exposure, some of which was widely popular, yet to date, William-Henry Ireland's verse has received almost no attention and has, until now, never been collected, professionally edited, or even sampled for anthology. This volume samples Ireland's post- Shakespearean poetry, beginning with Ballads in Imitation of the Antient (1801) and concluding with his satirical Scribbleomania (1815). The introduction argues that Ireland deserves a place among the Romantics of his era. The volume includes a foreword by Nick Groom, author of The Forger's Shadow.


If W.H. Ireland is known at all, it is as the audacious forger of the Shakespearean manuscripts that briefly bewitched the literary world in the last years of the eighteenth century, culminating in a catastrophic premiere of the “rediscovered” play Vortigern on 2 April, 1796. For over two centuries this escapade has condemned him on moral grounds to the anecdotal periphery of literary history, and consequently overshadowed the rest of his often-flamboyant writing career. A reassessment of Ireland’s work is well overdue, and this selection of his verse repositions him as a radical writer of the Romantic period. Dr. Nick Groom – University of Bristol

Table of Contents

Ballads in Imitation of the Antient (1801)
A Ballad. On the gallant Defeat of the Spanish Armada
Ballad, On the much lamented death of the gallant Prince Henry
Ballad Of the Death of Hotspur
Lines Addressed to Queen Elizabeth In imitation of Spenser
The Maid of the Brook

Rhapsodies (1803)
Crazy Tom, The Bedlamite
Cupid and the Love-Sick Maid: A Ballad
Employment for a Mistress and a Wife
Fragment. Obscure thy rays, thou beamy god of light!
From the French
To a Mistress
A Lover's Kiss
Parody. Begone; I'll hear no more of love and Parody
In answer to the former. If lovers were not rash and young
Parody. Hungry the wretch, and torn with care

The Angler (1804)
The Groans of the Talents (1807)
Epistle Six

All The Blocks! (1807)
Dialogue the First
Dialogue the Second
Dialogue the Third
To Friend Polypus

Flagellum Flagellated (1807)

Section L-LXVI

Effusions of Love (1808)
The Picture of My Queen

The Fisher Boy (1808)
The Fisher Boy's Song

The Sailor Boy (1809)
Canto III

The Cyprian: A Poem (1809)
The Cyprian
A Poetical Address to the Worthy Members of the British Parliament
Hebe, Or The Cup-Bearer of the Gods, A New Ballad

The Cottage Girl (1810)

Neglected Genius (1812)
Invocation to Genius
Edmund Spenser
Sonnet in Imitation of the Style of Edmund Spenser
John Milton Lines in Imitation of the Style of Milton
Thomas Otway
John Dryden
Naham Tate
Oliver Goldsmith
James Thomson
Richard Savage Richard Savage
The Writer's Address to Richard Savage
Elegiac Stanzas to the Memory of Thomas Chatterton
In strains like these erst sung the fire-fraught child
The Poet's Entry into Bristol
Thomas Chatterton
Unconscious while I thus gave sadness sway
The Writer's Address to Thomas Chatterton
Stanzas in Imitation of Chattertons Rowley Manuscripts

The Death of Bonaparte (1812)
Canto I
Canto II
Canto III
Canto IV

Jack Junk (1814)
Canto II
Canto IV

Chalcographimania (1814)
Book the Fourth

Scribbleomania (1815)
Surgery and Physic
Romance Writers
Walter Scott

Abbreviations and Modernizations


Works by W.H. Ireland

ISBN10:  0-7734-6269-4   ISBN13:  978-0-7734-6269-4    Pages:  428    Year:  2004   

Series: Studies in British Literature Number: 85

Subject Area: British - Literature 

Imprint: Edwin Mellen Press

USA List Price: $159.95 UK List Price: £104.95  

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