1820 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Campbell

David Carey, in "The Mansion of the Poets" Beauties of the Modern Poets (1820) xv-xvi.



The first that drew my attention and admiration was a bard of prepossessing appearance, whose countenance beamed with the fire of intellect, and expressed delightful anticipations of the treasures of hope. The charms of his composition I found to be a spell, which served to reader a few wild aberrations from the beaten paths of his predecessors and contemporaries, only appear like so many spots of wild and romantic scenery interspersed over the surface of a rich, verdant, and placid lawn. Sublimity as well as pathos were the characteristics of his muse, and the fire and zeal with which he espoused the cause of liberty and of man, elicited thunders of applause from the judges.

I remarked that the eloquent and impassioned manner in which he recited his own compositions, was infinitely superior to that of many authors, who are generally incapable of doing justice to their own lucubrations in this respect. His votive offering at the shrine of taste and judgment, though short, was universally applauded, and a laurel crown of perennial green was awarded to him, with which he modestly withdrew into the shade of retirement. This successful candidate I found to be CAMPBELL, the Bard of Hope.