Henry Drury

The work of Henry Drury is sadly overlooked. In fact, I hadn’t even heard of him until today, when a woman at work gave me a humorous anthology of Latin (and Greek) poetry she’d found in her house. He flourished around the middle of the nineteenth century. He was tutor and friend of Lord Byron. Here is an example of his work:

Humtius in muro requievit Dumtius alto;
Humtius e muro Dumtius heu! cecidit.
Sed non regis equi, reginae exercitus omnis,
Humti, te, Dumti, restituere loco!

He compiled the important work, Arundines Cami: Sive Musarum Cantabrigiensium Lusus Canori (“The Reeds of the Cam”), which was a bestseller in its day. It can be downloaded here, or otherwise extracted in various ways. Basically, it’s great works of English poetry (and nursery rhymes – they are Victorians, after all!) translated into Latin. – Actually, downloading as pdf is good, because you can put the two pages (English and Latin (or Greek)) side by side.


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