1822 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Thompson

Richard Alfred Davenport, in The British Poets (1822) 14.



Among those who have written in the style of Spenser, I do not hesitate to name Thompson as being one of the most successful. His three poems, the Epithalamium, the Nativity, and the Hymn to May, especially the last two, have many of the qualities which distinguish the captivating poet whose manner he adopted. In his Hymn to May he displays such an exuberance of rich imagery, such a felicity of fanciful description, and he pours forth his feelings in so joyous a spirit, and in strains so flowing, that the charms and praises of the delightful season which inspires him, were never sung with more elegance, or more animation. Of the minor poems it is necessary to say little more than that, with a few exceptions, they do not discredit the talent of the writer. The panegyric on Pope is rather overcharged; and it is curious that the poet should have chosen to celebrate Pope in blank verse, and Glover in rhyme.