1828 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Lisle Bowles

Anonymous, in Blackwood's Magazine 24 (August 1828) 227-28.



He is, we say, a well-beneficed clergyman. We make but a distant allusion to the value of his living — which is very considerable — but not more — nay, less than he deserves; for although a Whig, he is one of the most elegant, pathetic, and original living poets of England. His benefice is from nature — genius. Therein he is nobly endowed. His living is in good truth immortal. We really know not whether most to admire his poetry or his prose. In the famous controversy about Pope, with Byron, Campbell, Roscoe, Gifford, Gilchrist, and North, he exhibited great critical acuteness and powers of illustration. He luxuriated in examples drawn from a wide range of the best reading; and certainly, though not without a few hard knocks from his sturdy antagonists, he came off victorious and with flying colours.