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Born Dec. 25, 1721, in Chichester; died there June 12, 1759. English poet.
The son of a merchant, Collins studied at Oxford University. His Persian Eclogues (1742; 2nd ed., 1757, under the title Oriental Eclogues) followed the poetics of English classicism. But after coming into contact with the literary circle of the preromantic theorists J. Warton and T. Warton, Collins began using motifs and forms from Greek poetry and from Horace (Odes on Several Descriptive and Allegorical Subjects, 1747). A forerunner of European romanticism, Collins was one of the first to realize that national folklore was a life-giving source of poetry (“Dirge in Cymbeline,” 1744; Ode on the Popular Superstitions of the Highlands of Scotland, 1750; published 1788).
WORKSThe Poems of Gray and Collins, 4th ed. London, 1941.
REFERENCESIstoriia angliiskoi literatury, vol. 1, fase. 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1945.
Courthope, W. J. A History of English Poetry, vol. 5. London, 1926.
Sigworth, O. F. William Collins. New York .