1823 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry Neele

Thomas Dudley Fosbroke, in Gentleman's Magazine 93 (Supplement to Part I, 1823) 622-23.



Mr. Neele is well known to the Publick as a successful writer of Poetry (no inconsiderable achievement), and a preceding volume passed rapidly through the first edition, with a reputation which of course has raised expectation. That, we venture to say, will not be disappointed in the present collection. Mr. Neele's Poetry is marble, full of rich veins of imagination, but of simple classical purity. Lord Byron's is a gorgeous ore, splendid as a fairy grotto, but it is a heap, a "rudis indigestaque moles," and a very bad exemplar; for though it may be made a very fine thing in the hands of an Enchanter, every man is not a Conjuror, and an attempt to imitate him has often produced only a heap of rubbish, not fine things drawn out of a diamond mine of Genius, but mere earth from a gravel-pit, of a humble, every man's understanding; not wheeled in the car of a deity, a chariot of the sun; but in a homely barrow, the lowliest of the vehicle tribe. Mr. Neele avoids this, by giving us a versification, properly so called, founded on correct taste.