1807 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Richard Blackmore

Robert Southey, in Specimens of the Later English Poets (1807) 1:275.



As every verbal Critick should have Bentley's Milton upon his table as a perpetual memento, so should Locke's opinion of Prince Arthur be held in remembrance by all dabblers in metaphysics when they presume to dabble in criticism. The Preface to Sir R. Blackmore's Poems, printed in 1718, concludes with this remarkable passage: "I have expressed myself in this warm manner that the reader may be induced to believe that I am in earnest, and that in the Divine Poems, which he will find in this book I do not only design to entertain his imagination, as far as I am capable, with the beauties of poetry, but likewise to produce in the mind generous passions and worthy resolutions." Of the two specimens subjoined, it is perhaps only necessary to apprise the reader of the warmth of one as of the severity of the other.