1786 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Sneyd Davies

Anna Seward to George Hardinge, 23 October 1786; Letters, ed. Scott (1811) 1:194-95.



Lichfield, Oct. 23, 1786.

Yes, indeed, Dr. Davies had genuine poetic fancy, and his numbers were often graceful and harmonious. So far I think with you; but must dissent from your assertion that "he is a poet sweet as any of modern times;" times that boast of Gray, Mason, Collins, Hayley, Beattie, Cowper, Chatterton, Burns, with many others who hold the poetic torch much higher surely than it was lifted by the gentle, the elegant Davies.

In my girlish days I knew him well, and always shed tears of delight when I listened to him from the pulpit, for his manner of preaching was ineffable: — a voice of tremulously pathetic softness! religious energies, struggling through constitutional timidity; but in all his words, his looks, his manners, within and without the church, there looked out of a feeble frame a spirit beatified before its time.