1821 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. John Moultrie

William Wordsworth to Henry Crabb Robinson, March 1821; Letters, ed. Knight (1907) 2:145-46.



As to poetry, I am sick of it; it overruns the country in all the shapes of the plagues of Egypt, the frog-poets (the croaker's), the mice-poets (the nibbler's), a class rhyming to mice (who shall be nameless), and fly-poets. Gray in his dignified way calls flies the "insect youth," a term wonderfully applicable upon this occasion. But let us desist, or we shall be accused of envying the rising generation! Be assured, however, that it is not fear of such accusation which leads me to praise a youngster who writes verses in the Etonian, to some of which our Cumberland paper has introduced me, and some I saw at Cambridge. He is as hopeful, I think, as any of them — by name Montsay [for Moultrie]. If you should ever fall in with him, tell him that he has pleased me much. My sister sends her very kind love, and expressions of bitter regret that she did not see you at Cambridge, where Mary and I passed thirteen days....