1772 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. John Ogilvie

Anonymous, in "Catalogue of the most celebrated Writers" Letters concerning the present State of England (1772) 389-90.



OGILVIE. A poet of indisputable merit, and one who has had the spirit to reject the too common example of copying and translating, and strike into the pure regions of fancy and imagination. In some of his pieces he indulges rather too much in the luxuriance of epithet; native simplicity is not common with him. The following passage in his Ode to the Genius of Shakespear is fine.

I. 1.
Rapt'd from the glance of mortal eye,
Say bursts thy genius to the world of light?
Seeks it yon star bespangled sky?
Or skims its fields with rapid flight?
Or mid yon plains where fancy strays,
Courts it the balmy breathing gale?
Or where the violet pale
Droops o'er the green embroider'd stream;
Or where young zephir stirs the rustling sprays,
Lyes all dissolv'd in fairy dream?
O'er yon bleak desart's unfrequented round,
See'st thou where nature treads the deepening gloom,
Sits on yon hoary tow'r with ivy crown'd,
Or wildly wails o'er thy lamented tomb;
Hear'st thou the solemn music wind along?
Or thrills the warbling note in thy mellifluous song? [...]