chapter  8
7 Pages

WAR TON on Wyatt, 1781

We must agree with a critic above quoted, that Wyat co-operated with Surry, in having corrected the roughness of our poetic style. But Wyat, although sufficiently distinguished from the common versifiers of his age, is confessedly inferior to Surrey in harmony of numbers, perspicuity of expression, and facility of phraseology. Nor is he equal to Surrey in elegance of sentiment, in nature and sensibility. His feelings are disguised by affectation, and obscured by conceit. His declarations of passion are embarrassed by wit and fancy ; and his style is not intelli­ gible, in proportion as it is careless and unadorned. His compliments, like the modes of behaviour in that age, are ceremonious and strained. He has too much art as a lover, and too little as a poet . His gallantries are laboured, and his versification negligent. The truth is, his genius was of the moral and didactic species : and his poems abound more in good sense, satire, and observations on life, than in pathos or imagination. Yet there is a degree oflyric sweetness in the following lines to his lute, in which, The lover complaineth of the unkindness of his love.4