As George Orwell remarked in Inside the Whale and Other Essays, A Shropshire Lad represented one of his generation’s most popular poems. Just like (q.v.), Orwell had memorized large portions of it. Although it strikes this modern reader as a mostly maudlin celebration of Menander’s sentiment, an aphorism that would have been well known to Housman, the superb classicist (editor of Propertius and Manlius), viz., "Whom the Gods love dies young", there are some remarkable poems, e.g., II "Loveliest of trees, the cherry now" and XIX "To an Athlete Dying Young"; two elegant variations of the Narcissus myth (XV and XX); and the occasionally striking couplet, e.g., LXII "And malt does more than Milton can / To justify God’s ways to man."
George Orwell, writing in 1940, suspected that we base our vision of Dickens’s “implied” benevolence on the kindness and generosity of spirit he infused into his literary works. In Inside The Whale and Other Essays, he contended,
Inside The Whale And Other Essays by George Orwell
Inside The Whale was later published in extended editions with the title Inside The Whale And Other Essays (see some of them at ). I've been unable to find any commentary by Miller on this essay in particular.