1809 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Richard Savage

Nathan Drake, in "Literary Life of Dr. Johnson" Essays Illustrative of the Rambler (1809-10) 1:151-52.



From this description, who could suppose that the general character of the poetry of Savage is mediocrity! such, however, is the case; for even The Wanderer, one of the best of his productions, and composed under the most auspicious situation of his affairs, though it displays a few vigorous and splendid lines, is, upon the whole, flat, perplexed, and uninteresting. The encomia of Johnson have, for a time, given Savage a place in the collections of our national poetry; but the lapse of a few years will strip him of a rank which he has obtained from aid altogether extrinsic, and he will descend to mingle with the croud who, from adventitious circumstances, have attained a temporary elevation, and have then fallen to rise no more. Savage will be known to posterity only by the Life of Johnson.