1796 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Lisle Bowles

Charles Lamb to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 10 December 1796; Letters, ed. Thomas Noon Talfourd (1837) 1:53-54.



Burns was the god of my idolatry, as Bowles of yours. I am jealous of your fraternizing with Bowles, when I think you relish him more than Burns or my old favourite, Cowper. But you do conciliate matters when you talk of the "divine chit-chat" of the latter: by the expression, I see you thoroughly relish him. I love Mrs. Coleridge for her excuses an hundred fold more dearly, than if she heaped "line upon line," out Hannah-ing Hannah More; and had rather hear you sing "Did a very little baby" by your family fire-side, than listen to you, when you were repeating one of Bowles's sweetest sonnets, in your sweet manner, while we two were indulging sympathy, a solitary luxury, by the fire-side at the Salutation. Yet have I no higher ideas of heaven.