A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Mason, William

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Mason, William (1724-1797). -- Poet, s. of a clergyman, was b. at Hull, and ed. at Camb. He took orders and rose to be a Canon of York. His first poem was Musæus, a monody on the death of Pope, and his other works include Elfrida (1752), and Caractacus (1759), dramas -- an Heroic Epistle to Sir William Chambers, the architect, in which he satirised some modern fashions in gardening, The English Garden, his largest work, and some odes. He was a close friend of Gray, whose Life he wrote. His language was too magnificent for his powers of thought, but he has passages where the rich diction has a pleasing effect.