1775 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. John Brand

Anonymous, Review of Brand, On Illicit Love; Critical Review 40 (December 1775) 480.



The spot where this poem is said to have been written is the burial-place of the famous Rosamond, mistress of Henry II. whose history has afforded subject for various productions both of the amorous and elegiac kind, but never any in which the criminality of an unlawful passion is more forcibly exposed, or chastity recommended in a warmer strain of poetry, than what now lies before us. The author appears to be inspired with all the enthusiastic ardour which the scenes of memorable transactions are apt to excite in the imagination. The sentiments are glowing and just, the imagery is animated, and the poem is in general beautiful, pathetic, and moral.