A (very) Spenserian sonnet.
New Review: "We do not intend to examine the relative value of the poetry of former times, and that which is adapted to the general taste of the present aera; but it will be readily confessed, that the merit of Lord Thurlow's poetry can be viewed but indistinctly by him that has not in some degree formed his mature taste of composition, from the perusal of Spenser, and the other English poets who framed the character of their genius, and guided its exertions, on the model of the Italian school" 2 (August 1813) 132.
Allan Cunningham: "In the Georgian era, prose has not risen, but poetry has descended: we have no prose of a more vigorous or varied nature than that of Dryden; and we have no poetry of the lofty and regal character of the Paradise Lost. Our poets have, in general, selected tasks of a familiar, and sometimes homely kind: they have chose themes which the muses of Spenser and Milton would have spurned; and we cannot help feeling that not a few long and elaborate songs have been sung during the Hanoverian dynasty, which, in point of subject and sentiment, belong to the realms of prose. Nevertheless, the muse maintains, though with difficulty, her pre-eminence, and sits as yet on the higher peak of the hill" "Biographical and Critical History of the Literature of the Last Century" The Athenaeum No. 313 (26 October 1833) 713.
The noble heart, that, panting with disdain,
Doth lack to hear the tuneful trumpet blow,
Can ill abide upon the peaceful plain,
Or taste the poor delights, that shepherds know:
Nor can the shepherd, from his station low,
Delight in greatness, and unstable state,
But, pleased with the pleasant sounds, that flow
From his small pipe, the lofty life doth hate:
Yet nathless Love, that not a whit will bait
From his full empire, doth them both controul,
And, clothing their stiff necks with golden weight
Of his sweet yoke, doth reign in either soul:
The proud oftimes he leads to lowly plain,
And plants the humble in uncertain reign.
[Appendix, p. 71]