1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. John Mitford

Anna Laetitia Barbauld, Review of Mitford, Agnes, the Indian Captive; The Monthly Review 67 (March 1812) 324.



The Poem of Agnes is in some parts a mere imitation of Southey and Walter Scott, yet it contains several new and picturesque descriptions, and a few passages of interest and pathos. It is moreover a love-story, and may therefore obtain popularity from the causes which have assisted in procuring favour for many other compositions that might justly be termed "novels in metre." In fact, those readers who begin to be tired and ashamed of attending to prose-romances have now the pleasure of finding their old food dished up with fresh sauce, while they flatter themselves that they have acquired a taste for the fruits of Parnassus.

Mr. Mitford talks somewhat affectedly of the "Chacal" and the "Sameel," instead of the Jackal and the Camel; and we are sorry to meet with "love-lit lamp," and "stealthy foot" in his sonnets: but his Poems display talent and research; and the "Ode to Sophocles" is written with a portion of poetical enthusiasm.