1799 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Josiah Relph

John Aikin?, in "Retrospect of Domestic Literature" The Monthly Magazine 7 (Supplement, 1799) 537-38.



Mr. Ralph was a clergyman in Cumberland: here he resided, surrounded by the most romantic scenery of which England has to boast. The instruction of youth was his serious employment, and the cultivation of a poetic genius was his amusement. The volume, which has just appeared, of his Poems, was certainly not intended by the author for publication; the MSS. were left in the hands of a lady at his death (which was upwards of half a century since), who printed a few copies of them; and the present editor was induced to republish them, by the earnest desire of several persons who venerated the memory of the author, to whom they were indebted for instruction in their youth. The poems are written in the Cumberland dialect, descriptive, generally, of the manners and scenery of the country: they have that simplicity, and those delicate touches of nature, which never fail to interest the heart.