1799 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Merry

Anonymous, in "Memoir of Robert Merry" The Monthly Magazine 7 (April 1799) 256.



That the subject of our memoir possessed a lively imagination, that he spoke the language of passion, every one who had the happiness to know him must bear witness; what is there then to wonder at that he afterwards appeared so capable of expressing himself in regular, in harmonious numbers? He had the qualities of a poet by nature. The company he had kept, the countries he had visited, the books he had read, all conspired to give those qualities every external aid. The approbation his first essays in the art experienced, fully justified the great expectation formed of his future productions. Many of his pieces have been rather impromptu flights to Parnassus, than studied compositions. They show, however, the author's powers, and while they give pleasure to the present age they will not fail to secure him the admiration of posterity. Of his beautiful verses and fugitive pieces published in the World, under the title Della Crusca, &c. it is unnecessary to speak; they are fresh in every one's memory. Of his satyrical and witty epigrams published in the Argus, under the signature of Tom Thorne it is equally needless to make mention. During the last months of that paper's existence, it might be truly said, a certain ROSE was never without a THORNE.