From a letter dated 1 December 1849 (Letters, I. 429).
…We have had the sight of Clough and Burbidge, at last [she refers to Ambarvalia]. Clough has more thought, Burbidge more music; but I am disappointed in the book on the whole. What I like infinitely better is Clough’s Bothie of Toper-na-fuosich, a ‘long-vacation pastoral, ’ written in loose and more-than-need-be unmusical hexameters, but full of vigour and freshness, and with passages and indeed whole scenes of great beauty and eloquence. It seems to have been written before the other poems…. I feel certain you will like it and think all the higher of the poet. Oh, it strikes both Robert and me as being worth twenty of the other little book, with its fragmentary, dislocated, inartistic character. Arnold’s volume has two good poems in it: ‘The Sick King of Bokhara’ and ‘The Deserted [sic] Merman’. I like them both. But none of these writers are artists, whatever they may be in future days.