1878 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Hood

Charles and Mary Cowden Clarke, in Recollections of Writers (1878) 89-90.



It was not long before the last illness of Thomas Hood that I (C.C.C.) met him at the house of a mutual friend, when his worn, pallid look strangely belied the effect of jocularity and high spirits conveyed by his writings. He punned incessantly but languidly, almost as if unable to think in any other way than in play upon words. His smile was attractively sweet: it bespoke the affectionate-natured man which his serious verses — those especially addressed to his wife or to his children — show him to be; and it also revealed the depth of pathos in his soul that inspired his Bridge of Sighs, Song of the Shirt, and Eugene Aram. The large-hearted feeling he had for his fellow-men and his prompt sympathy for them were testified by his including me — we having met but once — in the list of friends to whom he sent on his death-bed a copy of the then recently engraved bust-portrait of himself, subscribed by a few words of "kind regard" in his own handwriting.