1851 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Kennedy

David Macbeth Moir, in Sketches of the Poetical Literature of the Past Half-Century (1851; 1852) 247-48.



The posthumous additions made to the poems of Motherwell, by the kindly zeal of his friends Mr. M'Conechy and Mr. Kennedy, have, I am afraid, like those of Mr. Monckton Milnes, in the similar case of Keats, added to their bulk rather than their value; and yet, somehow, we should not like to have wanted them. The poems of William Kennedy himself are referable to the same period. His principal poem The Arrow and the Rose, may be thought deficient in warmth and tenderness; but it is skilfully and elegantly versified, and possesses passages of uncommon power and beauty. Several of his lyrics also verge on excellence; but it must be acknowledged of his poetry generally, that ingenious although it be, it rather excites expectation than fairly satisfies it.