1802 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Charlotte Smith

Joseph Dennie, "Miscellany: Charlotte Smith" Port Folio [Philadelphia] 2 (8 May 1802) 139.



The Sonnets of Charlotte Smith are too monotonously mournful. They are like the ill-boding croak of the sinister raven, or like the sullen ding dong of funeral bells. I dislike this pungent style of grief, which, like an acid onion, compels the irritated eye to weep. In America, the sources of Chagrin are sufficiently multiplied, without the fictitious sorrows of the muse. One need not be "alone and pensive" by the light of the moon to see much political and moral evil. Our "pestilence" does not content itself with "walking in darkness," but rageth at noon day.