1761 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Hamilton of Bangour

Anonymous, Review of Hamilton, Poems on Several Occasions, The Monthly Review 24 (February 1761) 162.



Most of these pieces have already appeared in print; but this is the first compleat edition of Mr. Hamilton's works. He himself prepared it for the press; but did not live to compleat the publication. He was a Gentleman of considerable fortune, and of an ancient and honourable family in Scotland. He appears to have been a man of a honourable family in Scotland. He appears to have been a man of a social turn, well bred, had travelled, and acquired a thorough knowledge of mankind. As to his genius, tho' not greatly elevated, it was by no means inconsiderable: somewhat upon a par with our Pomfret's; or Dean Parnel's. His verses are very unequal: some harmonious and pleasing; others rugged, and difficult to repeat. His turn was chiefly for a song, verses to a Lady, and imitation of Horace, an Ode from Anacreon, an Epitaph, a familiar Epistle to a Friend, and such like short and unlaboured productions: written, we apprehend, purely as the French say, "pour passer le tems" — for the amusement of a Gentleman, whose acquired taste, perhaps, rather than native genius, led him to make occasional addresses to the Muses.