1827 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Knox

Anonymous, in The Monthly Magazine NS 3 (February 1827) 204.



Neither Mr. Knox, nor his poetry, we believe, is much known. He was the son, it seems, of a respectable farmer in Roxburghshire. The latter part of his life was embittered by that unsteadiness and uncertainty of pursuit, in which a man without any fixed profession is but too apt to become involved, however great may be his talents, and which has too often a pernicious influence in unsettling the social habits of those, who possess more facility of temper than decision and firmness of mind. Knox was of this class — a man, of whose faults the best and worst thing that can be said is, they injured no one so deeply as himself. His failings were those of habit — his virtues had a deeper root. He died in Edinburgh, in 1825, after an illness of three days, at the age of thirty-six, affording yet another melancholy lesson of the inefficacy of mere genius to impart either happiness to life, or grace or dignity to character.