Gerald Massey, once hailed by Landor as comparable to Keats, to “a chastened Hafiz,” to Shakespeare when at his best in his sonnets, has earned the reward of forgotten prophets. This poet, who espoused the cause of chartism in the England of his day, who worked for the common people, who helped shape democracy, was eclipsed by Tennyson, his contemporary and rival. Massey, who came to the defence of F. D. Maurice with these lines:
God bless you, Brave One, in our dearth,
Your life shall leave a trailing glory;
And round the poor man's homely hearth
We proudly tell your suffering's story,
brought to America the seed of the social gospel. It was this same Massey whom George Eliot met and admired in London and later portrayed in Felix Holt, the Radical.