1830 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Wordsworth

Felicia Hemans, 24 June 1830; Memorials of Mrs. Hemans, ed. Chorley (1836) 2:117.



The whole of this morning he kindly passed in reading to me from Spenser, and afterwards his own Laodamia, my favourite Tintern Abbey, and many of those noble sonnets which you, like myself, enjoy so much. His reading is very peculiar, but, to my ear, delightful; slow, solemn, earnest in expression more than any I have ever heard: when he reads or recites in the open air, his deep rich tones seem to proceed from a spirit-voice, and belong to the religion of the place; they harmonize so fitly with the thrilling tones of woods and waterfalls.