1831 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. David Macbeth Moir

John Wilson, in "An Hour's Talk about Poetry" 1831; Recreations of Christopher North (1852) 89.



Of Moir, our own "delightful Delta," as we love to call him — and the epithet now by right appertains to his name — we shall now say simply this, that he has produced many original pieces which will possess a permanent place in the poetry of Scotland. Delicacy and grace characterize his happiest compositions; some of them are beautiful in a cheerful spirit that has only to look on nature to be happy, and others breathe the simplest and purest pathos. His scenery, whether sea-coast or inland, is always truly Scottish; and at times his pen drops touches of light on minute objects that till then had slumbered in the shade, but now "shine well where they stand" or lie, as component and characteristic parts of our lowland landscapes. Let others labour away at long poems, and for their pains get neglect or oblivion; Moir is seen as he is in many short ones, which the Scottish Muses may "not willingly let die."