1762 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Cunningham

Anonymous, Review of Cunningham, The Contemplatist; St. James's Chronicle (30 October 1762).



We remember to have seen this Gentleman's Name prefixed, some Months ago, to a Poem, which did him no small Honour, entitled An Elegy on a Pile of Ruins. The Imagery, Reflections, and Harmony of Numbers in that Performance, cannot be sufficiently commended; and we are sorry to say, that in the Poem now before us, the Author seems to fall infinitely beneath himself, in all, excepting the last Respect. We flatter ourselves, however, that it will furnish no disagreeable Part of our Saturday's Entertainment, to lay before the Reader a few short Extracts from this second Effort of a Poetical Genius, who, with a Zeal truly becoming the Contemplatist, endeavours to recall the Muse from idle and licentious Subjects, to her primitive Employment, that of propagating Morality and Religion among Mankind.