English poet and essayist, was educated at Christ's Hospital. He edited, from 1808, The Examiner, which became a focus of Liberal opinion and so attracted leading men of letters, including Byron, Moore, Shelley and Lamb. He was imprisoned for two years (1813-15) for a libel on the Prince Regent. The Examiner introduced Shelley and Keats to the public-Keats's magnificent sonnet On First Looking into Chapman's Homer first appeared there in 1816, the year in which Hunt issued his own romance The Story of Rimini. Aware that England was no safe country in which to advocate Liberal views, he went on the invitation of Shelley to Italy, to found a new quarterly, The Liberal. Hunt returned to England in 1825 to carry on a ceaseless life of literary journa-lism, Liberal politics (no longer so dangerous) and poetry. His house at Hampstead attracted all that was notable in the literary world, not without envy or ridicule, however, as Dickens' caricature of him as Harold Skimpole in Bleak House shows. His Autobiography (ed. Blunden, 1928) is a valuable picture of the times. Blunden supplemented his Hunt studies with a Life in 1930. See also Life by Landre (1936), and selections by R. B. Johnson (1907) and Priestley (1929).
Abou Ben AdhemAbou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold:--
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the presence in the room he said,
"What writest thou?"--The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."
"And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still; and said, "I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow men."
The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blest,
And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.