1795 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. John Donne

Robert Anderson, in Works of the British Poets (1795) 4:4-5.



All his contemporaries are lavish in his praise. Prejudiced, perhaps, by the style of which was then fashionable, they seem to have rated his performances beyond their just value. But the praise of wit and subtility his title is unquestionable. In all his pieces he displays a prodigious richness of fancy, and an elaborate minuteness of description; but his thoughts are seldom natural, obvious, or just, and much debased by the carelessness of his versification.