The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XIII. The Victorian Age, Part One.
§ 53. Frederic Myers
A sharp difference of specific quality, if not of general poetical merits, again meets us when we turn to Frederick Myers. He was early distinguished, even at school and still more at Cambridge, by the unusual idiosyncrasy of his verse, an idiosyncrasy the more, not the less, remarkable that he had recently felt, and very strongly felt, the influence of Swinburne. Myers afterwards became an inspector of schools and interested himself in other matters; so that he did not produce much poetry. What he did, from his prize-poem, St. Paul, onward, was distinguished both in choice and treatment of subject and in character of form; but the distinction of form was certainly by far the greater. A good critic now living is said to hold that he could always tell any verse by Myers, though he might have no external knowledge of the authorship, by its peculiar rhythm; and, though this may be an exaggeration, it is an exaggeration of a truth. Myers’s lyrics are not very individual in substance and, perhaps, never consummate; but his blank verse, his heroics and especially his use of the decasyllabic quatrain with feminine rimes in the first and third lines, are certainly fingered in a singularly original manner.