1747 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Lyttelton

Thomas Gray to Horace Walpole, November 1747; Works, ed. Gosse (1895) 2:225.



I am not totally of your mind as to Mr. Lyttleton's elegy, though I love kids and fawns as little as you do. If it were all like the fourth stanza, I should be excessively pleased. Nature and sorrow, and tenderness, are the true genius of such things; and something of these I find in several parts of it (not in the orange-tree): poetical ornaments, are foreign to the purpose; for they only shew a man is not sorry; — and devotion worse; for it teaches him that he ought not to be sorry, which is all the pleasure of the thing. I beg leave to turn your weathercock the contrary way.