1827 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Fitz-Greene Halleck

James Gordon Brooks, in Review of Halleck, Alnwick Castle; New-York Literary Gazette and American Athenaeum 3 (24 February 1827) 197.



The only regret we feel with regard to this volume is that it is not more "voluminous." Every thing from the pen of its accomplished author attracts admiration and imparts delight. Mr. Halleck possesses more versatility of genius than any other poet in America. He has tried the gay and witty, the pathetic, and the sublime, and in all he has been eminently successful. In the latter his splendid lines on the "American Flag," are an honourable evidence of lofty thought and ardent imagination. "Fanny" and the inimitable "Croakers" are a charming display of wit without rudeness, and satire without heartlessness. We have read over and over every line that Mr. Halleck ever published, and in all his gay and sparkling satire we do not remember a single instance of ill-nature. This is honourable to one who has satirized so much and so well.

"Alnwick Castle," the "Death of Marco Bozzaries," and the tribute to the memory of Robert Burns are the longest pieces in this collection. We refrain from extracts, solely because they are familiar to every reader of poetry, and we shall not comment on their beauties, because they are universally appreciated and extolled. We presume they must contain faults, (as nothing is faultless,) but we have searched and scanned for half an hour and cannot find them.