1822 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Thomson

Joseph Robertson, in Lives of the Scottish Poets (1822) 2:167.



The Castle of Indolence, indeed, may be said to shew the "ars celare artem" in perfection. The simplicity of diction, bordering sometimes on the ludicrous, which he has adopted in some of the lines, in order to keep ut the imitation of the old style, is often most skilfully happy. It has not, I believe, been noticed, that in the composition of the Castle of Indolence, Thomson has his eye on The Castle of Labour, by Alexander Barclay, which, though an almost forgotten work, he had undoubtedly perused. The commencement of Thomson's poem has a similarity to that of Barclay's, which could not be the effect of accident.