1899 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Milton

Henry A. Beers, in English Romanticism in the Eighteenth Century (1899) 151.



The influence of Milton's minor poetry first becomes noticeable in the fifth decade of the century, and in the work of a new group of lyrical poets: Collins, Gray, Mason, and the brothers Joseph and Thomas Warton. To all of these Milton was master. But just as Thomson and Shenstone got original effects from Spenser's stanza, while West and Cambridge and Lloyd were nothing but echoes; so Collins and Gray — immortal names — drew fresh music from Milton's organ pipes, while for the others he set the tune.... In general the Miltonic revival made itself manifest in a more dispersed and indirect fashion than the Spenserian; but there was no lack of formal imitations.