1822 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Ross

Joseph Robertson, in Lives of the Scottish Poets (1822) 3:112.



The plot of the Fortunate Shepherdess, to which Dr. Beattie hints some exception might be taken by a nice critic, is certainly by no means pleasing. Ambition triumphs over the affections of the heart; and the humble, yet sincere lover, is discarded for a rival, whose chief recommendation is his wealth. But in the progress of the tale, there are beauties developed, which would justify even a warmer eulogium than Dr. B. has pronounced upon the work. "The celebrated Dr. Blacklock," says Dr. Irving, "as I have heard from one of his pupils, regarded it as equal to the pastoral comedy of Ramsay." And Mr. Pinkerton, who unfortunately could see nothing in the Gentle Shepherd to entitle it to a place among good compositions, says of Ross: — "Some of the descriptions are exquisitely natural and fine. The language and thoughts are more truly pastoral than any I have yet found in any poet, save Theocritus."