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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
Richard Henry Hengist Horne (1802–1884)
Critical and Biographical Introduction
RICHARD HENRY HENGIST HORNE, English poet and essayist, author of more than twenty volumes of verse and prose, is now chiefly remembered for his epic poem ‘Orion.’ Three large editions of this he published at a farthing a copy, “to show his appreciation of the low esteem into which heroic poetry had fallen.” The fourth edition commanded a shilling, and the fifth a half-crown. Ten editions had been exhausted by 1874.  1
  Horne’s life was adventurous and interesting. He was born in London January 1st, 1802, was educated at Sandhurst, and entered as midshipman the Mexican navy, where he served till the close of the War of Independence. He then returned to London to begin a literary career. To his early period belong two tragedies, ‘Cosmo de’ Medici’ and ‘The Death of Marlowe,’ both of which contain fine passages. A poem sent to him for criticism by Elizabeth Barrett opened the way to a cordial friendship and a correspondence of seven years. These delightful letters were published in 1877. Mrs. Browning contributed to Horne’s ‘Poems of Geoffrey Chaucer Modernized,’ and wrote several essays for his ‘Spirit of the Age,’ a collection of criticisms published in 1844.  2
  In 1852 Horne removed to Australia, and remained there until 1866; his book ‘Australian Facts and Principles’ was one outcome of this residence. Again returning to England, he continued literary work until his death at Margate, March 13th, 1884. His last works were tragedies, including ‘Judas Iscariot: A Miracle-Play,’ and a curious prose tract, ‘Sithron the Star-Stricken’ (1883), which he pretended to take from the Arabian.  3
  Poe said that his ‘Orion’ might be called “a homily against supineness and apathy in the cause of human progress, and in favor of energetic action for the good of the race…. It is our deliberate opinion,” he affirmed, “that in all that regards the loftiest and holiest attributes of true poetry, ‘Orion’ has never been excelled.” The narrative is drawn from a number of Greek and Roman fables. It describes the giant hunter Orion, who is loved by Artemis (Diana), Merope, and Eos (Aurora). The jealous Artemis pierces him with her arrows; but Zeus, in answer to the prayers of Eos, places him among the constellations, where he may enjoy her affection forever.  4

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