1794 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Marsh Oram

William Enfield, in Review of Oram, Poems; The Monthly Review NS 16 (September 1794) 104.



Though it be not a sufficient reason for the posthumous publication of verses that they were written in early youth, or under the difficulty of a narrow education, yet, when the pieces themselves bear evident marks of native genius, these circumstances ought to soften the rigour of criticism. In estimating the merit of the poems before us, we are very ready to place to the account of unavoidable disadvantages the prosaic, inharmonious, or obscure lines which obstruct our progress, because we find in many passages bold imagery, lively personification, tender sentiments, and glowing diction, not to be obtained without at least some sparks of poetic fire.