1795 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Thomson

Robert Anderson, in Works of the British Poets (1795) 9:179.



His Castle of Indolence, is embellished with all the decorations which poetical imagination could confer. The plan is artfully laid, and naturally conducted, and the descriptions rise in a beautiful succession. The charms of indolence, while it only moderates and gives a particular direction to our activity, without unfitting us entirely for social converse or enjoyment, are, in the first part of the poem, most exquisitely painted; and its loathsome squalid misery, when it declines into the languid helplessness of gross sloth, is afterwards most skillfully described. The style and stanza of Spenser, appropriated by custom to all allegorical poems in our language, have been adopted with the happiest skill.