[HARTE, Walter]. ~ The Amaranth: or, Religious Poems; consisting of Fables, Visions, Emblems, &c. Adorned with Copper-plates from the best Masters... London: Printed for Mess. Robinson and Roberts... and W. Frederick, at Bath. 1767.
8vo (202 × 127 mm), pp. xiv, , 295, ; with an engraved frontispiece by Hibbart after Carrache, a title vignette by Hibbart after Liberali, and 17 engravings (four repeated), of various sizes, by Hibbart and Hulett in the text, after Hollar, Papillon, Boussini, Robins, Leigh, da Vinci, Maccio, Visentini, Zelman, and Coypel; title-page and frontispiece browned, offsetting from the turn-ins; contemporary calf, rebacked, remains of old spine laid down, lower joint cracked but firm.
First edition, prepared at Bath during the author’s declining years. ‘There is a spirit of piety in these poems, which, as it seems to be perfectly sober and unaffected, is truly venerable. Nor is there a want of genius. The versification is smooth in general, and the language is elegant. The sentiments are marked with the genuine stamp of good sense, rational philosophy, and an improved knowledge of human life’ (Monthly Review). The title is an allusion to Milton: ‘Thir Crowns inwove with Amarant and Gold; / Immortal Amarant, a Flour which once / In Paradise, fast by the Tree of Life / Began to bloom...’ (Paradise Lost Book III).
Harte (1708/9–1774) was a friend of and collaborator with Pope; to Johnson, he was ‘a man of the most companionable talents he had ever known’ (Boswell, Life, 3 Dec. 1763). Johnson’s copy of the present work is now at the British Library.