1855 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Malcolm

George Gilfillan, in Preface; David Vedder, Poems, Lyrics, and Sketches (1855) xiii.



Without being a great or original Poet, John Malcolm had about him many real poetical qualities — a warm, almost feminine, sensibility — a sweet sustained melody of versification — fine occasional glimpses of fancy — a constant vein of tender feeling — and a perception of the beautiful rather than a command over the sublime. We met him once, and remember a pensive shade on his amiable and handsome face, and we suspect that this was produced by his early experiences as a soldier. A military life either permanently hardens or softens the temperament, and produces now a Hector MacTurk, and now a John Malcolm.