A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Smart, Christopher

Smart, Christopher (1722-1771). -- Poet, s. of the steward to Lord Vane, was b. at Shipbourne, Kent, and by the bounty of the Duchess of Cleveland sent to Camb. Here his ill-balanced mind showed itself in wild folly. Leaving the Univ. he came to London and maintained himself by conducting and writing for periodicals. His Poems on Several Occasions, which contained "The Hop Garden," was issued in 1752, and The Hilliad in 1753 against "Sir" John Hill, a notoriety of the day who had attacked him. His mind ultimately gave way, and it was in confinement that he produced by far his most remarkable work, the Song to David, a most original and powerful poem. Unfortunate to the last, he d. in the King's Bench prison, to which he had been committed for debt. He also translated Horace.