1835 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Richard Blackmore

Robert Southey, in Life and Works of Cowper (1835-37) 2:140.



The four epics are among the most worthless that ever were composed, though Molyneaux, in his admiration for them, thought that "all our poets, except Milton, were mere ballad-makers in comparison with him," and Locke agreed in this opinion with his friend; though Tom Brown said, that "if he had stopped his hand at Prince Arthur, he had gone off with some applause;" and though Watts called them excellent, and praised the author for the happy example which he had given in all the shining colours of profuse and florid diction. Notwithstanding these eulogies, they deserved to sink in oblivion, and must irretrievably have sunk, if they had not more unfortunately been consigned to remembrance by Dryden and Pope.