1823 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alaric Alexander Watts

William Lisle Bowles to Alaric Alexander Watts, 25 December 1823; in Alaric Alfred Watts, Alaric Watts, a Narrative of his Life, by his Son (1884) 1:191-92.



Bremhill, Dec. 25, 1823.

MY DEAR SIR,

It has given me much pleasure to hear from you, and still more to hear that you are so well established at Leeds. I thought that as an editor there was great facility and power in your pen.

I assure you that whenever I have read your poems, which I am delighted to find have been so successful, I have felt as though I had scarcely done them justice. No one can be more sensible than I am of the melody, pathos, and purity of your poetry. I hardly know anything in the English language so affecting as the lines on first hearing the voice of the infant. Your Ten Years Ago is truly exquisite. In your next edition, pray do not forget, in the beautiful lines entitled The Profession, to reconsider the imagery respecting "words" streaming. We may say a stream of eloquence flows, for then the metaphor is entire; but the one which you use in The Profession is too abrupt. You will excuse these observations; I do not think I should object to another expression in the whole volume. I beg my best regards, and those of Mrs. Bowles, to Mrs. Watts, and am, my dear sir,

Most faithfully yours,

W. L. BOWLES.