1763 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Thomas Newcomb

Anonymous, Review of Newcomb, On the Success of British Arms; The Monthly Review 28 (February 1763) 160-61.



It would be cruel to criticise a venerable Bard who has numbered about ninety years, near seventy of which he has spent in the not very lucrative service of the Muses. Now, indeed, his poetical fire seems almost exhausted; only affording a little glimmering flame, like that of an expiring taper, labouring for existence, with interrupted efforts, and broken gleams. — Age is often called a second childhood; and in truth it seems to be more peculiarly the case, with regard to some veterans of Parnassus, who are, to the last, as fond of jingling their poetical bells, as children are of their rattles. — Well! poor souls, old and young, if it contributes to their happiness, e'en let them jingle on.