1802 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Isaac Watts

George Dyer, in Poems (1802) 1:xxxiii-xxxiv.



Watts had much genius, and many of his little pieces possess the fervour and boldness of true poetry. But his Lyric Poems were written, many of them, at a period when his judgment had not arrived at its full strength, or, at least, to use Watt's language, when he did not make poetry the business of his life. So that we expect not to see the whole strength of a genius, that was certainly uncommon. Some of his liveliest pieces want stripping of glitter; and his boldest flights often sink into bathos.