Green, Matthew

(1696-1737)
   While little is known of the life of this English poet, it appears he was born of Nonconformist parents (possibly Quaker) but did not follow their religion. He was employed in a custom house and died at a lodging in Nag's Head Court, Gracechurch Street, in the City of London. His wit and cheerfulness show through in his amusing poems. When an allowance for supplying the custom-house cats with milk was threatened by the authorities, he wrote a successful petition in their name. His poem "Spleen" appeared posthumously in 1737, with a preface by his friend, Richard Glover (see entry). It is an epistle to Mr. Cuthbert Jackson advocating cheerfulness, exercise and a quiet content as remedies for his spleen (depression). Both Alexander Pope and Thomas Gray expressed a warm admiration for the poem. Quotations from his poems are included in many books. Some of his other poems: "An Epigram," "Jove and Semele," "On Barclay's Apology for the Quakers," "The Grotto," "The Seeker," "The Sparrow and Diamond."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. EighteenthCentury English Verse. Dennis Davison, ed. Penguin Books, 1988. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). Songs, Merry and Sad of John Charles McNeill. Alan R. Light, ed. Stone, 1906. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000. The Spleen and Other Poems by Matthew Green, The Cayme Press, 1925.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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