1828 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bp. Reginald Heber

Anonymous, in Review of Heber, Palestine and other Poems; American Quarterly Review [Philadelphia] 4 (December 1828) 286.



On the whole, we look upon Bishop Heber rather as a chaste and delicate and classic poet, than as distinguished by any strong marks of genius. He appears to us to have been made, not born a poet. It is to his matchless "Journal," that he is to be indebted for his lasting fame, as most acute and accurate in observation, and most interesting in description; and it is for his self-sacrificing spirit as a missionary Bishop, that his memory, will be cherished by all to whose hearts the cause of Christianity is dear. We know not how better to close our protracted remarks, than by the following extract from the tribute to the memory of Bishop Heber, by Amelia Opie, which, with two others of not equal merit, have been attached to the memoir with which this volume commences:—

Here hushed be my lay for a far sweeter verse—
Thy requiem I'll breathe in thy numbers alone,
For the bard's votive offering to hang on thy hearse,
Shall be formed of no language less sweet than thy own.

"Thou art gone to the grave, but we will not deplore thee,
Since God was thy refuge, thy ransom, thy guide;
He gave thee, he took thee, and he will restore thee,
And death has no sting, since the Saviour has died."