1784 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Francis Beaumont

Hannah More to Mr. Pepys, 1784; in Memoirs of Hannah More (1835) 1:198.



I would have given the world to hear my favourite Ode to Melancholy by Beaumont and Fletcher; you know it,—

An eye that's fastened on the ground,
A tongue chained up without a sound;
Gloomy cells and twilight groves,
Places which pale Passion loves, &c. &c.

But these pensive pleasures should be repeated at long intervals; they wind up the mind too high, and infuse into the spirit a sentiment compounded of sadness and delight, which, though it may qualify one to write odes, yet indisposes one for a much more indispensable thing, the enjoyment of the intercourse of ordinary society.