1804 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Patrick Gordon

David Irving, in Lives of the Scottish Poets (1804) 1:268-69.



Gordon's Famous Historie of the Valiant Bruce is an English poem of considerable length, divided into seventeen capita, and written in the octave stanza, a measure which the practice of Lord Stirling had probably induced the author to employ. The work is copiously replenished with Scoticisms, and with expressions which violate every rule of grammar. It neither possesses the dignity of an epic poem, nor the authenticity of a historical narration. Propriety is totally disregarded: Christ and Jupiter are with matchless indecorum grouped together. The poem, however, with all its faults, contains striking passages.