1833 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Rogers

Allan Cunningham, in "Biographical and Critical History of the Literature of the last Fifty Years" The Athenaeum (26 October 1833) 716.



If we observe in the strains of Crabbe, a leaning to the sneering and the cynical, we meet with no such unwelcome things in the works of Samuel Rogers: like Crabbe, he is thinking correctly and writing clearly; for loving scenes of humble life, and preferring landscapes which, like those of Gainsborough, belong more to reality than imagination. Here the resemblance ends; the tasteful muse of Rogers selects topics of a pure and poetic order; he refuses to unlatch the door of the lazar-house; he delights in contemplating whatever is fair and beautiful; and has no wish to describe Eden for the sake of showing the Evil Spirit crawling among the trees, and lying like a toad at the ear of beauty and innocence to inspire mischief.