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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Critical and Biographical Essay by Alfred H. Miles

Philip Stanhope Worsley (1831–1866)

PHILIP STANHOPE WORSLEY (1831–1866), whose early death closed a career of exceptional beauty and promise, though known best by his admirable translations of the “Odyssey” (1861) and the “Iliad” (1865), published also “The Temple of Janus,” a Newdigate prize poem in 1857, and a volume of “Poems and Translations” in 1863, of which a second and enlarged edition was issued posthumously in 1875. His original poems differ widely in merit, but those on classical subjects reach a very high level indeed. “Phaethon,” the opening poem of the “Poems and Translations” volume, is a splendid work, and but for its length would have been included in the body of this work, though it may be added that its length is in itself hardly sufficient excuse for its omission. It displays fine imagination, and a capacity for the large handling of a great theme. Philip Stanhope Worsley had a rare personality and an impressive presence, and a beauty of character which shone out with the light of transfiguration in a face worn by acute and long-continued physical suffering. He was referred to in an obituary notice in the Athenæum as “the most perfect model of a Christian gentleman.” Both of the following appear in Orby Shipley’s “Lyra Eucharistica,” and the latter is from “Poems and Translations.”