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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume X. The Age of Johnson.

VII. Young, Collins and Lesser Poets of the Age of Johnson

§ 20. Falconer’s Shipwreck

His minor poems are more numerous than Falconer’s, and intended much more greatly: but they have little more significance. He tries Gray’s ode manner, and he tries his elegy manner: and he fails in both. A tolerable opening, such as that of Retirement:

  • When in the crimson cloud of even,
  • The lingering light decays,
  • And Hesper on the front of Heaven
  • His glistering gem displays
  • is followed by some twenty times the number of lines mostly rubbish. The Pastorals, if less silly, are not much better than pastorals usually are; and the most that can be said for The Judgment of Paris, wherein Beattie employs the elegiac quatrain, is that it is rather less bad than one would expect—a fact which may account for its unpopularity at the time as well as for its omission from his collected poems.