1776 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Richard Graves

John Langhorne, Review of Graves, Eurphrosine; The Monthly Review 55 (July 1776) 71.



As a man of sense, spirit, and humour, we have distinguished this Writer in our account of his Spiritual Quixote; as a poet he has had our approbation on the review of a pretty little poem, called, The Love of Order. That production, and a great variety of other poetical pieces, make the substance of this volume. These pieces are classed, and thrown together, under the different denominations of poems on various subjects — Sarcastic — Encomiastic — Paraphrastic — Amorous — Humourous — Moral Pieces — Epitaphs, &c. On the first of these divisions, we shall only observe, that it contains many agreeable easy verse; but the stanzas written near Bath, 1755, merit a higher character. They are truly beautiful, and are cast in the first mould of poetry. Under the title of Humorous, are some droll, and some but indifferent things. The following merits distinction:

THE AMOROUS SQUIRE.
Strephon in vain pursued a rural fair,
The rosy object of his tender care.
The nymph, who long had lov'd a sturdy swain,
Still view'd the amorous Strephon with disdain.
Provok'd, he strove by force to storm her charms,
She rais'd her hand, — and dash'd him from her arms.
"Ah! cease, cries he, subdue that barbarous spite;
Tho' doom'd to love, I was not born to fight.
You've stol'n my heart, deprive me not of breath;
Those frowns are cruel, but that fist is death.