1803 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Dermody

Anonymous, in Review of Dermody, Poems on Various Subjects in Poetical Register for 1802 (1803) 425-26.



The author of this volume is now beyond the reach of either of praise or censure. He died in the year 1802, at an early age, after having passed through a life of more than ordinary vicissitude, and added another name to the melancholy list of those, who have shown that genius is not always a blessing to its possessor. His talents were of a superior order, but they were not always exerted in a situation to display them advantageously. Many of his pieces were written on the spur of necessity, and bear evident marks of haste, negligence, and lassitude. The present volume, however, contains some of his most finished productions. Dermody formed his style on our early poets, and it has many of the excellencies of his masters. His descriptions are lively and rich, his ideas and combinations of them are frequently original and striking, and his versification has often much sweetness and spirit. This character is justified by many poems in the volume now before us. Some complimentary verses, the offspring of gratitude or necessity, might have been omitted with advantage.