1833 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry Kirke White

James Montgomery, in Lectures on General Literature (1833) 210.



The memory of Henry Kirke White has been embalmed rather by the genius of his biographer (Dr. Southey) than his own. He was, unquestionably, a youth of extraordinary promise; but it must be acknowledged that he has left little which would have secured him more than a transient reputation, if his posthumous papers had fallen into other hands than those of the best-natured of critics and the most magnanimous of poets. There is no great infusion, in his most finished pieces, of fine fancy, romantic feeling, or fervid eloquence. Their distinguishing characteristics are good sense and pious sentiment, strongly enforced, and sometimes admirably expressed; indeed the cast of his thought was rather didactic, than either imaginative or impassioned.