1825 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bp. Thomas Percy

Allan Cunningham, in Songs of Scotland, Ancient and Modern (1825) 1:312.



Read the tale of Sir Cauline and the Childe of Elle, and compare their antique profusion of beauty and simple elegance with the Hermit of Warkwarth, or any other ballad where Percy writes in his own name, and without any impulse from half recollected fragments and some dimly seen story. He has the fear of the world and of Dr. Johnson and Goldsmith upon him; and is cold, and correct, and trembling. When he comes in the apparel of the old minstrel, he is free and fearless, and sings nothing but the most exquisite and enduring strains.