Elegy on Captain Cook.
Elegy on Captain Cook. To which is added, An Ode to the Sun.

London: J. Dodsley, 1780.

Small quarto, 23 pp., later marbled wrappers.

'With piercing shrieks bewail thy Hero's doom!'

Seward's famous tribute; the second edition published the same year as the first edition, and 'one of the most influential odes on Captain Cook' (Forbes). Numerous footnotes refer to events on the voyages, including mentions of kangaroos, surfing, increasing modesty in Tahitian women, New Zealand hemp and the islanders' morais.

Seward's famous tribute; the second edition published the same year as the first edition, and 'one of the most influential odes on Captain Cook' (Forbes). Numerous footnotes refer to events on the voyages, including mentions of kangaroos, surfing, increasing modesty in Tahitian women, New Zealand hemp and the islanders' morais.

News of Cook's death devastated English society, and led to many poetical tributes, of which this poem by Seward was the best regarded, and very popular: there were to be a number of later editions of Seward's Elegy. This 1780 edition came out in the first year of the appearance of numerous literary tributes to the great man, and and was a famous and significant monument to his memory. Holmes quotes the Gentleman's Magazine (September, 1780, p. 432): 'With the assistance of the Muses, she has raised a trophy worthy of the memory of one of the greatest men this or any age or nation has produced.'

Beddie, 2436; Forbes, 'Hawaiian National Bibliography', 25 (note); Hocken, p.19; Kroepelien, 1182; not in the catalogue of the Hill collection.

Condition Report: A few age spots otherwise very good.

Ref: #4011310

Condition Report