1818 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Thomson

Francis Hodgson, in Childe Harold's Monitor (1818) 57.



— Yes, in a gradual slope from bad to worse,
From flowery Thomson's Asiatic curse—
(Hear, hear again, ye pettifogging crew!
Ye quibblers, hear! — I value Thomson too;
Value for love of Nature, for the sound
That sang "the varied God" in Life's revolving round—
But scorn the weakness of his tongue diffuse,
The wishy-washy ichor of his Muse—)
From flowery Thomson, to the meaner train,
To drowsy Cowper, and to Wordsworth vain,
Who sink, like Jacob's angels, till they reach
From Heaven to earth in lowered scales of speech—
Yes, in so prone a slope, fair England's style
Drops all its charms, and saddens — to a smile!
A sickly smile, from Taste's pale sunset cast,
Like Evening's faintest colours, and her last.