November 8, 1798.
I perfectly accord with your opinion of old Wither. Quarles is a wittier writer, but Wither lays more hold of the heart. Quarles thinks of his audience when he lectures; Wither soliloquizes in company with a full heart. What wretched stuff are the "Divine Fancies" of Quarles! Religion appears to him no longer valuable than it furnishes matter for quibbles and riddles; he turns God's grace into wantonness. Wither is like an old friend, whose warm-heartedness and estimable qualities make us wish he possessed more genius, but at the same time make us willing to dispense with that want. I always love W., and sometimes admire Q. Still, that portrait is a fine one; and the extract from "The Shepherds' Hunting" places him in a starry height far above Quarles.
If you wrote that review in "Crit. Rev.," I am sorry you are so sparing of praise to the"Ancient Marinere;"  so far from calling it, as you do, with some wit but more severity, "A Dutch Attempt," etc., I call it a right English attempt, and a successful one, to dethrone German sublimity. You have selected a passage fertile in unmeaning miracles, but have passed by fifty passages as miraculous as the miracles they celebrate. I never so deeply felt the pathetic as in that part,-- "A spring of love gush'd from my heart, And I bless'd them unaware." It stung me into high pleasure through sufferings. Lloyd does not like it; his head is too metaphysical, and your taste too correct,--at least I must allege something against you both, to excuse my own dotage,--But you allow some elaborate beauties; you should have extracted 'em. "The Ancient Marinere" plays more tricks with the mind than that last poem, which is yet one of the finest written. But I am getting too dogmatical; and before I degenerate into abuse, I will conclude with assuring you that I am,
 The "Lyrical Ballads" of Wordsworth and Coleridge had just appeared.The volume contained four pieces, including the "Ancient Mariner," byColeridge.
-from The Best Letters of Charles Lamb edited with an Introduction by Edward Gilpin Johnson (London: 1892).