1810 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Lyttelton

William Wordsworth, in Essays on Epitaphs (1810); Prose, ed. Grosart (1876) 2:53.



We know from other evidence that Lord Lyttelton dearly loved his wife; he has indeed composed a monody to her memory which proves this, and she was an amiable woman; neither of which facts could have been gathered from these inscriptive verses.... The Reader will perceive at once that nothing in the heart of the Writer had determined either the choice, the order or the expression, of the ideas; that there is no interchange of action from within and from without; that the connections are mechanical and arbitrary, and the lowest kind of these — heart and eyes: petty alliterations, as meek and magnanimous, witty and wise, combined with oppositions in thoughts where there is no necessary or natural opposition.