1825 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

David Lester Richardson

Anonymous, in Review of Richardson, Sonnets and other Poems; European Magazine 87 (April 1825) 353.



These Poems are written in a style of easy and elegant simplicity, and it may well be said of them, that "materiam superabat opus, for the subjects are almost entirely of a light and fanciful character, and the style and measure peculiarly harmonizes with their aerial mould. They want, accordingly, the weighty bullion of which English verse is so admirably capable, where love and heroism become the theme of the poet. But there are two kinds of love, with only one of which Mr. Richardson appears to be acquainted; namely that love which is the pure offspring of fancy or imagination. Those loving and lovely poets who feign to be in love but are not, never do much execution, and seldom interest either male or female. We all see their love consists in mere professions, and, accordingly, while they make love to a thousand fair maidens, there is not one who cares a fig for them. It is only when the little traitor is within, and takes sole possession of the breast, or, in other words, when they are really in love, that we sympathize in their fate.