1795 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Lloyd

Robert Anderson, in Works of the British Poets (1795) 10:617.



As a poet, Lloyd is to be considered as an elegant and correct, rather than a very animated or first rate writer. His compositions are distinguished by a happy ease, and a graceful negligence of expression. But they are extremely unequal; sometimes terse and neat, and at other times slovenly and inaccurate. Prior, Gray, and Swift, were the models which he followed, in preference to Dryden, Pope, and Churchill. The Actor is one of his best productions.... Of his Occasional Pieces, the Epistle to Garrick, Epistle to Churchill, Shakspeare, The Poet, The Cobler of Tissington's and The Cobbler of Cripplegate's Letters, &c. have considerable merit. His Progress of Envy, is a happy imitation of the style and manner of Spenser. The two Odes to Obscurity and Oblivion, written in conjunction with Colman, are admirable parodies of Gray's Progress of Poetry, and Bard, and Mason's Ode to Memory, &c. In the first, the birth of Fashion is humorously and poetically described, and in the latter, the goddess Oblivion is pleasantly and characteristically represented. His Latin version of Gray's Elegy in a Country Church-Yard is inferior to some other versions of that exquisite performance. His translation of the first book of Voltaire's Henriade is executed with spirit and elegance. The Imitation from the Spectator is exquisitely beautiful. His Songs are tender and elegant. His Fables, Tales, &c. are familiar and easy. His other levities and pieces of humour have their proportion of wit and pleasantry; but require no distinct enumeration or particular criticism.