1837 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Charles Lloyd

Thomas Noon Talfourd, in Life of Charles Lamb (1837) 1:23-24.



While Lamb was enjoying habits of the closest intimacy with Coleridge in London, he was introduced by him to a young poet whose name has often been associated with his — Charles Lloyd — the son of a wealthy banker at Birmingham, who had recently cast off the trammels of the Society of Friends, and smitten with the love of poetry, had become a student at the University of Cambridge. There he had been attracted to Coleridge by the fascination of his discourse; and having been admitted to his regard, was introduced by him to Lamb. Lloyd was endeared both to Lamb and Coleridge by a very amiable disposition and a pensive cast of thought; but his intellect bore little resemblance to that of either. He wrote, indeed, pleasing verses and with great facility, — a facility fatal to excellence; but his mind was chiefly remarkable for the fine power of analysis which distinguishes his London, and other of his compositions. In this power of discriminating and distinguishing — carried to a pitch almost of painfulness — Lloyd has scarcely been equalled; and his poems, though rugged in point of versification, will be found, by those who read them with the calm attention they require, replete with critical and moral suggestions of the highest value. He and Coleridge were devoted wholly to literary pursuits; while Lamb's days were given to accounts, and only at snatches of time was he able to cultivate the faculty of which the society of Coleridge had made him imperfectly conscious.