In addition to th e se residents or natives of the locality, Shelley, Scott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Clough, Crabb Robinson, Carlyle, Keats, Tennyson, Matthew Arnold, Mrs Hemans, Gerald Massey and others of less reputation made longer or shorter visits, or were bound by ties of friendship with the poets already mentioned.
The distance between the generation of Wordsworth and Coleridge and that of Byron and Shelley is not less - it is even probably greater - than that which divides Keats from Tennyson, and he is more the last of that great school than the first of any new one.
We still look to the earlier masters for supreme excellence in particular directions: to Wordsworth for sublime philosophy, to Coleridge for ethereal magic, to Byron for passion, to Shelley for lyric intensity, to Keats for richness.
The colouring is that of classic mythology, but the spiritual element is as individual as that of any classical poem by Milton, Gray, Keats or Tennyson.
But the essential narrowness and timidity of his general outlook prevented him from detecting and estimating latent forces, either in politics or in matters strictly intellectual and moral; and this lack of understanding and sympathy accounts for his distrust and dislike of the passion and fancy of Shelley and Keats, and for his praise of the half-hearted and elegant romanticism of Rogers and Campbell.
Among famous residents are found the first earl of Chatham, John Constable, George Romney, George du Maurier, Joseph Butler, author of the Analogy, Sir Richard Steele, John Keats, the sisters Joanna and Agnes Baillie, Leigh Hunt and many others.
When John Keats was in Girvan during his Scottish tour in 1818 he apostrophized the rock in a fine sonnet.
Both his collegiate and editorial duties stimulated his critical powers, and the publication in the two magazines, followed by republication in book form, of a series of studies of great authors, gave him an important place as a critic. Shakespeare, Dryden, Lessing, Rousseau, Dante, Spenser, Wordsworth, Milton, Keats, Carlyle, Thoreau, Swinburne, Chaucer, Emerson, Pope, Gray - these are the principal subjects of his prose, and the range of topics indicates the catholicity of his taste.