1820 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Wilson

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



When these personages had passed in review, I marked a genius of lively, but philosophical mien, struggling through the crowd to get into notice. He seemed as if he had received the stimulus of his poetical feelings amidst the solitudes of the lakes, and I at first mistook him for one of the votaries of that school; but I found that he had only amused himself for a time amidst the inhabitants and the wild beauties of that romantic region. His muse now took a more lofty and distant flight, and he sung of the charms of islands embosomed in the deep, the creations of a fertile fancy, in strains which excited a degree of approbation that gave promise of a richer and more universal reward. His name, I understood, was WILSON, and he was honoured with one of the Palms which are considered as a symbol of superior merit. He withdrew into the shade, to strew the rugged paths of legal erudition with the more captivating flowers of poesy, and was followed by a number of votaries of the Muses, to enjoy the pleasures of his conversation.