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Graveyard Poets

Edward Young

Thomas Gray
Robert Blair
William Cowper
Thomas Parnell
Edward Young


Edward Young


Birthplace: Upham, New Winchester, England

Occupation: English poet and dramatist, Royal Chaplain, Rector

After a disappointing political life Young took holy orders about 1724, serving for a time as the royal chaplain before becoming rector of Welwyn in 1730. He achieved great renown in his own time, both in England and on the Continent, for his long poem The Complaint, or Night Thoughts on Life, Death, and Immortality (1742-45), a Christian apologetic inspired by the deaths of his wife, stepdaughter, and the latter’s husband.


- "Our birth is nothing but our death begun."

- "The man that makes a character, makes foes."

-"The weak have remedies, the wise have joys; superior wisdom is superior bliss."

- "Wonder is involuntary praise"

- "Tomorrow is the day when idlers work, and fools reform."

(source for quotes:

Other works by Young are:

The Instalment (to Sir R. Walpole, 1726)

Cynthio (1727)

A Vindication of Providence ... (1728), a sermon

An A pology for Punch (1729), a sermon

Imperium Pelagi, a Naval Lyrick ... (1730)

Two Epistles to Mr Pope concerning the Authors of the Age (1730)

A Sea-Piece ... (1733)

The Foreign Address, or The Best Argument for Peace (1734)

The Centaur not Fabulous; in Five Letters to a Friend (1755)

An Argument ... for the Truth of His [Christ's] Religion (1758), a sermon preached before the king

Conjectures on Original Composition ... (1759), addressed to Samuel Richardson Resignation ... (1762), a poem.


Further information on Edward Young and his works can be found at the following links:

Brainy Encyclopedia


Old Poetry

Samuel Johnson's Life of Edward Young

The Burn's Encyclopedia

National Gallery of Victoria, Australia (beautiful pics of the Blake-illustrated 1795 edition of Night Thoughts)

Voller, Jack G. "Edward Young." The Literary Gothic. 5 April 2005. 15 Oct. 2005.