1800 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Dermody

Anonymous, in Review of Dermody, Poems, Moral and Descriptive; European Magazine 38 (October 1800) 282-84.



These are evidently the effusions of a man of genius and learning; and, from the tenor of some of them, we are led to conjecture, that the Author is under circumstances of embarrassment, the frequent fate of genius. His epistle on the "Pursuit of Patronage" feelingly and forcibly describes the condition of unfriended brads from the days of Butler and Dryden to those of Boyse and Chatterton. This and "The Retrospect" are the principal poems in the collection, the remainder of which consists of sonnets, ballads, and occasional pieces, and in the perusal remind us of some of the minor productions of Gray, Cowper, and Goldsmith. The Author's forte, however, seems to be satire; and we here and there meet with passages possessing equal energy with some of the best of Churchill's, without any of the personal rancour by which that able writer so distinguished and disgraced himself....

As friends to literary genius, we cannot conceal our wishes and hopes, that this Collection may make its way to the notice of those who are capable of appreciating its merits, and able to retrieve the Bard from his despondency.