1829 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Thomson

William Wordsworth to Alexander Dyce, 12 January 1829; Letters of the Wordsworth Family, ed. Knight (1907) 2:359.



I had once a hope to have learned some unknown particulars of Thomson, around Jedburgh, but I was disappointed. Had I succeeded, I meant to publish a short life of him, prefixed to a volume containing The Seasons, The Castle of Indolence, his minor pieces in rhyme, and a few extracts from his plays, and his Liberty; and I feel still inclined to do something of the kind. These three writers, Thomson, Collins, and Dyer, had more poetic imagination than any of their contemporaries, unless we reckon Chatterton as of that age. I do not name Pope, for he stands alone, as a man most highly gifted; but unluckily he took the plain, when the heights were within his reach.

Excuse this long letter, and believe me,

Sincerely yours,

WM. WORDSWORTH.