1803 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe

Anna Seward to Walter Scott, 29 July 1803;Letters, ed. Scott (1811) 6:98.



How rich is Scotland at this period in poets! Mr. Sharp is a fine one; witness his Tower of Repentance. The 2d and 3d stanzas are admirable — so is the whole of the ensuing poem, "The Murder of Caerlaveroc." It contains an original poetic picture of the extremest beauty — a lady asleep.

Unclos'd her mouth of rosy hue
Whence issued fragrant air,
That gently, in soft motion, blew
Stray ringlets of her hair.

Then how natural is the ensuing dream (when wet, as she slumbers, by the blood of her bridegroom) that the waters of the Forth flowed over her! The musical locality of the last stanza but one is striking.