1802 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Gray

Joseph Dennie, in "Miscellany: Dryden and Gray" Port Folio [Philadelphia] 2 (26 June 1802) 196.



GRAY, as a poet of the lyre, appears to me to be more uniformly grand and majestic. The mind is elevated by him to etherial regions, and soars with eagle flight, without being obliged to fall from its eminence like the son of Daedelus. GRAY wins his way on high, like a glorious luminary, all stately, all regularly magnificent; Dryden rises like an air balloon, which now and then breaks, and tumbles precipitously down, contrary to the intention of the conductor of it, and to the great mortification of the gaping spectator.