Seward: filling 18c gap

Note: pages in our 18c Leverhulme study section were originally published on the website in 2010. Links have since been checked and updated.

Examples from Seward’s poetry which plug the OED gap in 18th-century quotations: Seward Table 4a

WordQuotationOED datesDate of textFills eighteenth-century gap (number of years between existing OED quotations)Comment
arrested'Huge blocks of ice th'arrested ship embay' (Elegy on Captain Cook, p. 8)1611 (Cotgrave), 1859, 18711780248Seward's example is particularly valuable since OED's first quotation is from Cotgrave's dictionary, and she thus provides the first non-dictionary, 'real' usage of arrested ('stopped', 'checked') as a past participle adjective. Incidentally, Seward's use of embay here is picked up directly from Cook's own account, which she quotes in a footnote to the previous page: 'After running four leagues this course, with the ice on our starboard side, we found ourselves quite embay'd'.
beaked'While seas on Orm's beak'd promontory burst' ('Hoyle Lake', in Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 17)1590, 1637, 18631794 (1796)226Seward is probably quoting Lycidas, which supplies OED's 1637 quotation ('1637 MILTON Lycidas 94 Every gust..That blows from off each beaked promontory'); she refers to Lycidas in a note on the same page.
curtained'Her curtain'd mountains rising o'er the floods' ('Hoyle Lake', in Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 17)1605 (Shakespeare), 1820 (Keats), 1836 (Dickens)…1794 (1796)215
Hebe'She shone, the Hebe of her green retreat' ('Hoyle Lake', in Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 13)1606, 1815 (Scott), 18891796209OED1/2 defines s.v. sense 1: 'The goddess of youth and spring, represented as having been originally the cup-bearer of Olympus'.
vermeil'From the dwarf coral, with his vermeil horns, / Or sea-moss, matted round her briny caves, / To the broad oak, that Albion's cliff adorns' ('Ode to the Sun', p. 21)…1596, 1802, 1807, 1812, 18981779206Surprisingly, OED1/2 has no seventeenth- or eighteenth-century quotations for this first sense: 'A. adj. Of a bright scarlet or red colour; vermilion. Chiefly poet.'
dazzled'Soon, in imperious Henry's dazzled eyes, / The guardian bounds of just Dominion melt' (Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 3)1581, a1629, a1628, 1811, 18561796183Like many items in Seward's usage is easily replicable in other eighteenth-century sources.
circumscribing'Nor Death's dread darts, impede the great design, / Till Nature draws the circumscribing line' (Elegy on Captain Cook, p. 7)1571, 1664, 18461780182Straightforward eighteenth-century gap.
Icarian'Nor could the youthful, rash, luxurious King / Dissolve the Hero's worth on his Icarian wing' (Llangollen Vale, p. 2)1595, 1623, 1639, a1822, 1844…1796182OED1/2: 'Of, pertaining to, or characteristic of Icarus'.
confluent'Wide in the front the confluent Oceans roll' ('Hoyle Lake', in Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 18)1612, 1651, 1830, 1851-9, 18831794 (1796)179
swart'The shiv'ring natives of the frozen zone, / And the swart Indian' (Elegy on Captain Cook, p. 4)…1614, 1613-16, 1634 (Milton), 1810 (Shelley), 1825 (Scott), 19011780176OED1/2notes that this usage is 'Now only rhet. or poet. (or dial.)' and defines (s.v. sense 1b) 'spec. Of the skin or complexion, or of persons in respect of these'. As often, OED's other quotations point to the tradition of poetic diction in which Seward writes.
blasting'"DEATH, on his pale Horse", with baleful smile, / Smote with its blasting hoof the frighted plains' (Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 2)1591, 1603 (Shakespeare), 1667 (Milton), 1810 (Southey), 18611796143OED1/2: '1. That blasts, in various senses of the vb.'
lessened'Now weak and pale the lessen'd lustres play' (Elegy on Captain Cook, p. 5)1676, 1811, 1817, 18801780135OED1/2 defines simply as 'diminished'.

Last updated on 16 September 2019