1802 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Leigh Hunt

Anonymous, Review of Hunt, Juvenilia; Poetical Register and Repository of Fugitive Poetry for 1801 (1802) 430.



A considerable degree of taste and genius is manifested in this volume of juvenile poems. Many of the pieces would not disgrace authors of a more advanced age. The Palace of Pleasure in particular, is conceived and executed with great ability. The difficult stanza of Spenser is well managed, and many of the figures and personifications are appropriate and beautiful. The pastorals, and the pieces in blank verse, are of inferior merit. To render the common cant of pastoral at all interesting, is an Herculean task. Blank verse is often chosen by young writers under the mistaken idea that it is of easier composition than rhyme and the result is, what might be expected from such an idea, that their compositions are tedious and monotonous. Of all bad verse, bad blank verse is the worst.