1813 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Pearse Gillies

Samuel Egerton Brydges to Robert Pearse Gillies, 18 March 1813; Gillies, Memoirs of a Literary Veteran (1851) 2113.



My very dear Sir, — I have only received your two enclosures long enough to read through your poetical fragment, with a degree of unfeigned admiration and astonishment, such as no poem since Beattie's Minstrel ever gave me! But it is out of all proportion superior to Beattie's: it is throughout equal to that which Beattie has only reached in one or two stanzas. It is perfect inspiration! It is as far superior to any the best composition of any living poet, as Shakespeare, and Milton, and Spenser, are to the dead. It is the voice of the Muse herself, divested of any earthly alloy! Never, except in the very finest passages of Shakespeare, and Milton, and Gray, have I been so delighted and elevated with poetry before. You recall me again to my original propensities! I feel a desire to forsake this hateful turmoil of worldly ambition, and go back again to the woods to enjoy my day dreams!