1824 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Gates Percival

Anonymous, in Monthly Magazine 57 (June 1824) 437.



Want of room has prevented us from drawing the public attention earlier to the reprint of Dr. PERCIVAL'S Poems in London. We have seen many specimens of American taste and genius, but we think this work one of the most favourable. Dr. Percival resides in Connecticut, is still a young man, and was an instance of precocity of talent during his college studies. "The Wreck," "Prometheus," and "the Suicide," are pieces the length of which enables the author to exhibit his powers of description, and display his philosophical principles. The first of these is in the simple but effective manner of Wordsworth; and the author writes like a man of feeling, who has been accustomed to the phenomena of the sea. In "Prometheus" he displays his physics and his metaphysics; but there is a tinge of that religious mysticism which, perhaps, for another century, must be indulged among the descendants of the gloomy fanatics who first peopled New England, and whose prejudices still restrain the free exertion of American intellect. But for this drawback, the Poems would bear comparison with the most tasteful productions of the mother country.