Hawes, Stephen

, an English poet who flourished about the end of the fifteenth century, was a native of Suffolk, and educated at Oxford. He travelled afterwards in England, Scotland, France, and Italy, and became a complete master of French and Italian poetry. On his return, his acquired politeness and knowledge procured him an establishment in the household of Henry VII. who was struck with the liveliness of his conversation, and admired the readiness with which he could repeat most of the old English poets, especially Lydgate: his knowledge also of the French tongue might be a recommendation to that monarch, who was fond of studying the best French books then in vogue.

Hawes’s principal work is his “Pastime of Pleasure,” first printed by Wynkyn de Worde in 1517, with wooden cuts. This, Mr. Warton says, contains no common touches -of romantic and allegoric fiction. The personifications are often happily sustained, and indicate the writer’s familiarity | with the Provincial school: he also says that “Hawes has added new graces to Lvdgate’s manner.” Mr. Ellis, however, seems to be of a different opinion, and thinks that he has copied Lydgate’s worst manner; and that he is diffuse, fond of expletives and epithets which add nothing to the sense. Hawes’s other works are, “The Temple of Glass,” in imitation of Chaucer’s “Temple of Fame;” “The Conversyon of Swerers,” and one or two other rarities, described in our authorities. 1

1

Ath. Ox. vol. I. Bliss’s edit. Ellis’s Specimens, vol. I. p. 409. Warton’s Hist, of Poetry. Phillips’s Theatrum. Cens. Lit. vol. III. and IV.