1815 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Hogg

Mary Russell Mitford to Sir William Elford, 24 December 1815; L'Estrange, Life of Mary Russell Mitford (1870) 1:248.



Well, and I have been much pleased with the Queen's Wake, and The Pilgrims of the Sun, particularly the first, written by that man of the horrid name, the Ettrick Shepherd, James Hogg. I am not going to recommend them to you, because I know you to be a poetical epicure; you like nothing but ortolans and pine-apples. Seriously, they are not poems to recommend to any one who has not a good digestion for ghosts, angels, fairies, and "such small deer" — for they are real fairy tales in verse, but highly imaginative, often beautiful, and occasionally sublime. Kilmeny is exquisite — it lifts one above the clouds; and it is really painful to descend from so sweet a vision into this work-a-day world. I wished to live there forever.