1829 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Keats

Oliver William Bourne Peabody in "The Decline of Poetry" North American Review [Boston] 28 (January 1829) 17.



The age has afforded all sorts of extravagance, among which the writings of Shelley, Barry Cornwall, and Keats, deserve to be mentioned, to show how beautiful talents can be eclipsed by an unnatural style. They might have shone bright in their several stations, if they had kept the orbits marked out for them by nature; but they chose to strike out new paths for themselves, and the world has shown no disposition to follow them. They seem to the uninitiated, employed as unprofitably as they would be in painting the colors that float before us when our eyes are shut, or setting to music the ringing in their ears; and each, by his particular errors, has done something to injure the influence of poetry in the world.