1816 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Hamilton Reynolds

Leigh Hunt, in "Young Poets" The Champion (1 December 1816) 761.



The next with whose name we became acquainted, was JOHN HENRY REYNOLDS [sic], author of a tale called Safie, written, we believe, in imitation of Lord Byron, and more lately of a small set of poems published by Taylor and Hessey, the principal of which is called the Naiad. It opens thus:—

The gold sun went into the west,
And soft airs sang him to his rest;
And yellow leaves all loose and dry,
Play'd on the branches listlessly:
The sky wax'd palely blue, and high
A cloud seem'd touch'd upon the sky—
A spot of cloud, — blue, thin, and still,
And silence bask'd on vale and hill [...].

We shall give another extract or two in a future number. The author's style is too artificial, though he is evidently an admirer of Mr. Wordsworth. Like all young poets too, properly so called, his love of detail is too over-wrought and indiscriminate; but still he is a young poet, and only wants a still closer attention to things as opposed to the seduction of words, to realize all that he promises. He nature seems very true and amiable.