1845 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. Mark Akenside

Peter Cunningham, in Thomas Campbell, Specimens of the British Poets (1845) 489n.



Akenside holds a high place among British Poets. He had all the qualities natural and acquired of a great poet. His mind was imbued with classic lore — with lofty conception, and that love and knowledge of nature which no book can communicate. His ear was correct, and his blank verse deserves to be studied by all who would excel in this truly English measure. Of his smaller poems the Hymn to the Naiads stands pre-eminent, breathing as it does the very spirit of Callimachus and antiquity. His inscriptions are among the best in our language, and Southey and Wordsworth have profited largely by them. His Odes are tame productions; that to the Earl of Huntingdon has found most admirers: it is good, but it is not excellent.