1882 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Hayley

Epes Sargent, in Harper's Cyclopaedia of British and American Poetry (1882) 230.



Hayley (1745-1820), the biographer of Cowper, wrote poems very popular in their day. His Triumphs of Temper (1781), though now forgotten, had a large sale. He wrote also dramatic pieces and a Life of Milton (1796). His over-strained sensibility and romantic tastes exposed him to ridicule, yet he was an amiable and uncomplicated man. His life of Cowper appeared in 1803. The few natural and graceful lines we quote [The Departing Swallows] will probably outlast all the other effusions of this once much-praised versifier.