Sidor som bilder
[ocr errors]

ndifferently represent the cat, having shown himself having pressed Milton into his service as one of those jat too distinctly to be of a species to which that noble not presently popular, to favour his own purpose of Teature is peculiarly hostile.

proving that our grandchildren will read him (the said Nevertheless, I will not go so far as Wordsworth William Wordsworth), I would recommend him to o his postscript, who pretends that no great poet ever begin first with our grandmothers. But he need not iad immediate fame; which, being interpreted, means be alarmed; he may yet live to see all the envies pass hat William Wordsworth is not quite so much read away, as Darwin and Seward, and Hoole, and Hole,(2) yy his contemporaries as might be desirable. This and Hoyle, (3) have passed away; but their declension assertion is as false as it is foolish. Homer's glory | will not be his ascension: he is essentially a bad writer, lepended upon his present popularity: he recited, and all the failures of others can never strengthen ind, without the strongest impression of the moment, him. He may have a sect, but he will never have a who would have gotten the Iliad by heart, and given | public; and his audience will always be “ few," I to tradition? Ennius, Terence, Plautus, Lucretius, without being “fit,"_except for Bedlam. lorace, Virgil, Æschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Sap It may be asked, why, having this opinion of the sho, Anacreon, Theocritus, all the great poets of an- present state of poetry in England, and having had it iquity, were the delight of their contemporaries. The | long, as my friends and others well know-possessing, tery existence of a poet, previous to the invention of or having possessed too, as a writer, the ear of the printing, depended upon his present popularity; and public for the time being-I have not adopted a difhow often has it impaired his future fame? Hardly ferent plan in my own compositions, and endeavoured "ver. History informs us, that the best have come to correct rather than encourage the taste of the day. lown to us. The reason is evident; the most popular To this I would answer, that it is easier to perceive found the greatest number of transcribers for their the wrong than to pursue the right, and that I have MSS., and that the taste of their contemporaries was never contemplated the prospect “of filling (with Peter corrupt can hardly be avouched by the moderns, the | Bell,(4) see its Preface) permanently a station in the mightiest of whom have but barely approached them. literature of the country." Those who know me best Dante, Petrarch, Ariosto, and Tasso, were all the know this; and that I have been considerably astodarlings of the contemporary reader. Dante's poem nished at the tempurary success of my works, having was celebrated long before his death; and, not long flattered no person and no party, and expressed opiafter it, states negotiated for his ashes, and disputed nions which are not those of the general reader. for the sites of the composition of the Divina Com. Could I have anticipated the degree of attention which media. Petrarch was crowned in the Capitol. Ariosto has been accorded me, assuredly I would have studied was permitted to pass free by the public robber who more to deserve it. But I have lived in far countries bad read the Orlando Furioso. I would not recom abroad, or in the agitating world at home, which was mend Mr. Wordsworth to try the same experiment not favourable to study or reflection; so that almost with his Smugglers. Tasso, notwithstanding the all I have written has been mere passion,-passion, criticisms of the Cruscanti, would have been crowned it is true, of different kinds, but always passion: for in the Capitol, but for his death.

in me (if it be not an Irishism to say so) my indifference It is easy to prove the immediate popularity of the was a kind of passion, the result of experience, and chief poets of the only modern nation in Europe that not the philosophy of nature. Writing grows a habit, has a poetical language, the Italian. In our own, like a woman's gallantry: there are women who have Shakspeare, Spenser, Jonson, Waller, Dryden, Con bad no intrigue, but few who have had but one only; greve, Pope, Young, Shenstone, Thomson, Johnson, so there are millions of men who have never written Goldsmith, Gray, were all as popular in their lives as a book, but few who have written only one. And since. Gray's Elegy pleased instantly, and eternally. thus, having written once, I wrote on; encouraged no His Odes did not, nor yet do they, please like his doubt by the success of the moment, yet by no means Elegy. Milton's politics kept him down. But the anticipating its duration, and, I will venture to say, Epigram of Dryden,(1) and the very sale of his work, scarcely even wishing it. But then I did other things in proportion to the less reading time of its publication, besides write, which by no means contributed either prove him to have been honoured by his contemporaries. to improve my writings or my prosperity. I will venture to assert, that the sale of the Paradise I have thus expressed publicly upon the poetry of Lost was greater in the first four years after its the day the opinion I have long entertained and expublication, than that of The Excursion in the same pressed of it to all who have asked it, and to some number, with the difference of nearly a century and a who would rather not have heard it: as I told Moore half between them of time, and of thousands in point not very long ago, “ we are all wrong except Rogers, of general readers. Notwithstanding Mr. Wordsworth's Crabbe, and Campbell." (5) Without being old in

(1) The well-known lines under Milton's picture,

"Three poets, in three distant ages born," etc.-L.E. (2) The Rev. Richard Hole. He published, in early life, A versification of Fingal, and, in 1789, Arthur, a Poetical Romance. He died in 1803.-L.E.

(3) Charles Hoyle, of Trinity College, Cambridge, author of Ecodus, an epic in thirteen books.-L.E.

(6) " Peter Bell first saw the light in 1798. During this long interval, pains have been taken at different times to make the production less unworthy of a favourable reception; or rather, to fit it for filling permanently a station, however bumble, in the literature of my country.” Wordsworth,

peculiar walk of the art in which he himself so grandly trod, than in the inconsistency of which I thought him guilty, in condemning all those who stood up for particular schools' of poetry, and yet, at the same time, maintaining so exclusive a theory of the art himself. How little, however, he attended to either the grounds or degrees of my dissent from him will appear by the following wholesale report of my opinion in Detached Thoughts One of my notions diffe. rent from those of my contemporaries, is, that the present is not a high age of English poetry. There are more poets (soi-disant) than ever there were, and proportionally less poetry. This thesis I have maintained for some years, but, strange to say, it meeteth not with favour from my brethren of the shell. Even Moore shakes his head, and firmly believes that it is the grand age of British poesy,Moore.-L.E.


(6) "1 certainly ventured to differ from the judgment of my noble friend, no less in his attempts to depreciate that

years, I am old in days, and do not feel the adequate the same power and the same variety—where will spirit within me to attempt a work which should show you find them ? what I think right in poetry, and must content myself I merely mention one instance of many, in reply with having denounced what is wrong. There are, to the injustice done to the memory of bim whe I trust, younger spirits rising up in England, who, harmonised our poetical language. The attorneys escaping the contagion which has swept away poetry | clerks, and other self-educated genii, found it easier from our literature, will recall it to their country, to distort themselves to the new models, than to do) such as it once was and may still be.

after the symmetry of him who had enchanted their In the mean time, the best sign of amendment fathers. They were besides smitten by being toht will be repentance, and new and frequent editions of that the new school were to revive the language di Pope and Dryden.

Queen Elizabeth, the true English; as every body There will be found as comfortable metaphysics, in the reign of Queen Anne wrote no better than and ten times more poetry in the Essay on Man, French, by a species of literary treason. than in the Excursion. If you search for passion, Blank verse, which, unless in the drama, no one where is it to be found stronger than in the Epistle except Milton ever wrote who could rhyme, became from Eloisa to Abelard, or in Palamon and Arcite? the order of the day, -or else such rhyme as looked Do you wish for invention, imagination, sublimity, still blanker than the verse without it. I am aware character ? seek them in the Rape of the Lock, the that Johnson has said, after some hesitation, that be Fables of Dryden, the Ode for Saint Cecilia's Day, could not prevail upon himself to wish that Milton and Absolom and Achitophel : you will discover, in had been a rhymer.” The opinions of that truly these two poets only, all for which you must ransack great man, whom it is also the present fashion to inhumerable metres, and God only knows how many decry, will ever be received by me with that delerwriters of the day, without finding a tittle of the ence which time will restore to him from all; bat, same qualities, - with the addition, too, of wit, or with all humility, I am not persuaded that the Paswhich the latter have none. I have not, however, dise Lost would not have been more nobly corregad! forgotten Thomas Brown the Younger, nor the to posterity, not perhaps in heroic couplets, although Fudge Family, (1) nor Whistlecraft; but that is not even they could sustain the subject if well balanced, wit-it is humour. I will say nothing of the har but in the stanza of Spenser or of Tasso, or in the mony of Pope and Dryden in comparison, for there terza rima of Dante, which the powers of Milta is not a living poet (except Rogers, Gifford, Camp- could easily have grafted on our language. The bell, and Crabbe), who can write an heroic couplet. Seasons of Thomson would have been better 0. The fact is, that the exquisite beauty of their versi rhyme, although still inferior to his Castle of India fication has withdrawn the public attention from lence; and Mr. Southey's Joan of Arc no wors, their other excellences, as the vulgar eye will rest although it might have taken up six months instead more upon the splendour of the uniform than the of weeks in the composition. I recommend also to quality of the troops. It is this very harmony, par- the lovers of lyrics the perusal of the prezeki ticularly in Pope, which has raised the vulgar and laureate's Odes by the side of Dryden's on "Sant atrocious cant against him:-because his versifi- Cecilia," but let him be sure to read first those di cation is perfect, it is assumed that it is his only Mr. Southey. perfection; because his truths are so clear, it is to the heaven-born genü and inspired yang asserted that he has no invention; and because he scriveners of the day much of this will appear på is always intelligible, it is taken for granted that he radox: it will appear so even to the higher order of has no genius. We are sneeringly told that he is our critics; but it was a truism twenty years ago the "Poet of Reason," as if this was a reason for his and it will be a re-ackno ed truth in ten more being no poet. Taking passage for passage, I will In the mean time, I will conclude with two quello undertake to cite more lines teeming with imagine tions, both intended for some of my old classical alion from Pope than from any two living poets, be friends who have still enough of Cambridge abzul they who they may. To take an instance at random them to think themselves bonoured by having a from a species of composition not very favourable to John Dryden as a predecessor in their college, and imagination-Satire: set down the character of to recollect that their earliest English poetical plezSporus, (2) with all the wonderful play of fancy which sures were drawn from the little nightingale d is scattered over it, and place by its side an equal | Twickenham. The first is from the notes to the number of verses, from any two existing poets, of

Poem of the Friends : (3)— (1) In 1812, Mr. Moore published The Two-penny Post Or at the ear of Eve, familiar toad, bag. by Thomas Brown the Younger; and, in 1818, The

Hall froth, half venom, spits himself abroad, Fudge Family in Paris.-L. E.

In puns, or politics, or tales, or lies,

Or spite, or smut, or rhymes, or blasphemies, (2) “P. Let Sporus tremble.--A. What! that thing of silk, His wit all see-saw, between that and this, Sporus, that mere white curd of ass's milk?

Now high, now low, now master up, now miss, Satire or sense, alas! can Sporus feel ?

And he himself one vile antithesis. Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?

Amphibious thing! that acting either part, P. Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings,

The trifling head, or the corrupted beart, This painted child of dirt, that stinks and sings;

Fop at the toilet, flatterer at the board, Whose buzz the witty and the fair annoys,

Now trips a lady, and now struts a lord. Yet wit ne'er tastes, and beauty ne'er enjoys ;

Eve's tempter thus the Rabbins have expressl., So well-bred spaniels civilly delight

A cherub's face, a reptile all the rest : In mumbling of the game they dare not bite.

Beauty tbat shocks you, parts that none will trost, Eternal smiles his emptiness betray,

Wit that can creep, and pride that licks the dast" As shallow streams run dimpling all the way.

Prol, to Sat.-LE Whether in florid impotence be speaks,

(3) Written by Lord Byron's early friend, the Rev Francia And, as the prompter breathes, the puppet squeaks; Hodgson.-- E.

"It is only within the last twenty or thirty years I thought “foppery” was a consequence of rethat those notable discoveries in criticism have been finement; but n'importe. made which have taught our recent versifiers to un The above will suflice to show the notions enterdervalue this energetic, melodious, and moral poet. tained by the new performers on the English lyre of The consequences of this want of due esteem for a him who made it most tuneable, and the great imwriter, whom the good sense of our predecessors had provements of their own “variazioni.” raised to his proper station, have been NUMEROUS The writer of this is a tadpole of the Lakes, a AND DEGRADING ENOUGH. This is not the place to | young disciple of the six or seven new schools, in enter into the subject, even as far as it affects our which he has learnt to write such lines and such poetical numbers alone, and there is matter of more sentiments as the above. He says “easy was the importance that requires present reflection."

task” of imitating Pope, or it may be of equalling The second is from the volume of a young person him, I presume. I recommend him to try, before learning to write poetry, and beginning by teaching he is so positive on the subject; and then compare the art. Hear him:(1)

what he will have then written and what he has now

written with the humblest and earliest compositions “But ye were dead

of Pope, produced in years still more youthful To things ye knew not of-were closely wed

than those of Mr. Keats when he invented his new To musty laws lined out with wretched rule

Essay on Criticism, entitled Sleep and Poetry And compass vile; so that ye taught a school (2) Of dolts to smooth, inlay, and chip, and fit,

(an ominous title), from whence the above capons Till, like the certain wands of Jacob's wit,

are taken. Pope's was written at nineteen, and Their verses tallied. Easy was the task :

published at twenty-two. A thousand handicraftsmen wore the mask of poesy. ni-fated impious race,

Such are the triumphs of the new schools, and such That blasphemed the bright lyrist to his face,

their scholars. The disciples of Pope were Johnson, And did not know it ; no, they went about

Goldsmith, Rogers, Campbell, Crabbe, Gifford, Holding a poor decrepit standard out

Matthias,(5) Hayley, and the author of The Paradise of Mark'd with most flimsy mottos, and in large

Coquettes;() to whom may be added Richards, Heber, The name of one Boileau ! »

Wrangham, Bland, Hodgson, Merivale, and others A little before, the manner of Pope is termed, who have not had their full fame, because “the race “A scism,(3)

is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong," Nurtured by foppery and barbarism,

and because there is a fortune in same as in all other Dlade great Apollo blush for this his land." (4) things. Now, of all the new schools -- I say all, for,

U In a manuscript note on this passage of the pamphlet, ated Nov. 12, 1821, Lord Byron says, “Mr. Keats died at lome about a year after this was written, of a decline pro. aced by his having burst a blood - vessel on reading the ar. cle on his Endymion in the Quarterly Review. I have read le article before and since; and, although it is bitter, I do

t think that a man should permit himself to be killed by it. ut a young man little dreams what he must inevitably en. jenter in the course of a life ambitious of public notice. s indignation at Mr. Keats's depreciation of Pope has hardly rmitted me to do justice to his own genius, which, malgré I the fantastic fopperies of his style, was undoubtedly of eat promise. His fragment of Hyperion seems actually spired by the Titans, and is as sublime as Æschylus. He a loss to our literature, and the more so, as he himself, Tore his death, is said to have been persuaded that he had It taken the right line, and was re-forming his style upon

more classical models of the language.-L.E. (2) It was at least a grammar “school.”

) So spelt by the author.
9) As a balance to these lines, and to the sense and sen-
ient of the new school, I will put down a passage or two
m Pope's earliest poems, taken at randon :-
* Envy ber own snakes shall feel,

And Persecution mourn her broken wheel,
There Faction roar, Rebellion bite her chain,

And gasping Furies thirst for blood in vain." "Ah! what avails his glossy varying dyes,

His purple crest, and scarlet-circled eyes ;
The vivid green bis shining plumes unfold,
His painted wings, and breast that flames with gold !"
* Round broken columns clasping ivy twined,

O'er heaps of ruin stalk'd the stately hind;
The fox obscene to gaping tombs retires,

And savage howlings all the sacred quires."
** Hail, bards triumphant! born in happier days;

Immortal heirs of universal praise !
Whose honours with increase of ages grow.
As streams roll down, enlarging as they flow;
Nations unborn your mighty names shall sound,
And worlds applaud that must not yet be found !
Oh may some spark of your celestial Gre,
The last, the meanest of your sons inspire,
(That on weak wings, from far pursues your flights;
Glows while he reads, but trembles as he writes)
To teach vain wits a science little known,
T admire superior sense, and doubt their own!"

“ Amphion there the loud creating lyre

Strikes, and behold a sudden Thebes aspire !
Citbaron's echoes answer to his call,
And half the mountain rolls into a wall."
* So Zembla's rocks, the beauteous work of frost,
Rise white in air, and glitter o'er the coast;
Pale sans, unfelt, at distance roll away,
And on th' impassive ice the lightnings play:
Eternal snows the growing mass supply.
Till the bright mountains prop the incumbent sky,
As Atlas Gr'd, each hoary pile appears,

The gather'd winter of a thousand years."
". Thus, when we view some well-proportion'd dome,

The world's just wonder, and even thine, O Rome!
No single parts unequally surprise,
All cumes united to the admiring eyes:
No monstrous beight, or breadth, or length, appear;

The whole at once is bold and regular."
A thousand similar passages crowd upon me, all composed
by Pope before his two-and-twentieth year; and yet it is con-
tended that he is no poet, and we are told so in such lines
as I beg the reader to compare with these youthful verses of
the “no poet.” Must we repeat the question of Johnson,
"U Pope is not a poet, where is poetry to be found?Even in
descriptive poetry, the lowest department of the art, he will
be found, on a fair examination, to surpass any living writer.

(6) Thomas James Matthias, Esq., the well-known author of the Pursuits of Literature, Imperial Epistle to Kien Long, etc. In 1814, Mr. M. edited an edition of Gray's Works, which the University of Cambridge published at its own ex. pense. Lord Byron did not admire this venerable poet the less for such criticism as the following:-"After we have paid our primal homage to the bards of Greece and of an. cient Latium, we are invited to contemplate the literary and poetical dignity of modern Italy. If the influence of their persuasion and of their example should prevail, a strong and steady light may be relumined and diffused amongst us, a light which may once again conduct the powers of our rising poets from wild whirling words, from crude, rapid, and uncorrected productions, from an overweening presumption, and from the delusive conceit of a pre-established reputation; to the labour of thought, to patient and repeated revision of what they write, to a reverence for themselves and for an enlightened public, and to the fixed unbending principles of legitimate composition.” Preface to Gray.-L. E.

(6) Dr. Thomas Brown, professor of moral philosophy in the University of Edinburgh, who died in 1820.-L. E.

' like Legion, they are many" — has there appeared a as he himself informed me in his answer, telling me single scholar who has not made his master ashamed by way of apology, that he'd be d d if he cold of him? - unless it be Sotheby, who has imitated help it;" and I am not conscious of any thing like every body, and occasionally surpassed his models. “envy” or “exacerbation" at this moment which is Scott found peculiar favour and imitation among the duces me to think better or worse of Southey, Words fair sex : there was Miss Holford, (1) and Miss worth, and Coleridge as poets than I do now, althigh Mitford, (2) and Miss Francis; (3) but, with the great- | I do know one or two things more which have added est respect be it spoken, none of his imitators did to my contempt for them as individuals.(5) And, in much honour to the original, except Hogg, the Ettrick return for Mr. Wilson's invective, I shall content mycin shepherd, until the appearance of The Bridal of with asking one question :-Did he never compos, Triermain, and Harold the Dauntless, which in the recite, or sing, any parody or parodies upon the Psales opinion of some equalled if not surpassed him; and (of what nature this deponent saith not), in certain lo! aster three or four years, they turned out to be | jovial meetings of the youth of Edinburgh ?(6) It i the Master's own compositions. Have Southey, or not that I think any great harm if he did; becaused Coleridge, or t'other fellow, made a follower of renown? seems to me that all depends upon the intention Wilson never did well till he set up for himself in the such a parody. If it be meant to throw ridicale City of the Plague. Has Moore, or any other living the sacred original, it is a sin; if it be intended : writer of reputation, had a tolerable imitator, or rather burlesque the profane subject, or to inculcate a mara disciple? Now, it is remarkable, that almost all the truth, it is none. If it were, the Unbelievers' Creed followers of Pope, whom I have named, have produced the many political parodies of various parts of the beautiful and standard works; and it was not the Scriptures and liturgy, particularly a celebrated me number of his imitators who finally hurt his fame, but of the Lord's Prayer, and the beautiful moral parable the despair of imitation, and the ease of not imitating in favour of toleration by Franklin, which has dla him sufficiently. This, and the same reason which been taken for a real extract from Genesis, would induced the Athenian burgher to vote for the banish | be sins of a damning nature. But I wish to know i ment of Aristides, “because he was tired of always Mr. Wilson ever has done this, and if he has, urky hearing him called the Just,” have produced the tem should be so very angry with similar portions porary exile of Pope from the State of Literature. Don Juan?— Did no « parody profane" appare But the term of his ostracism will expire, and the in any of the earlier numbers of Blackwood's Ms. sooner the better, not for him, but for those who ba gazine ? nished him, and for the coming generation, who

I will now conclude this long answer to a short “ Will blush to find their fathers were his foes."

article, repenting of baving said so much in Dyke

defence, and so little on the “crying letband I will now return to the writer of the article which fallings-off and national defections of the portes del has drawn forth these remarks, whom I honestly take the present day. Having said this, I can burdy be

be John Wilson, a man of great powers and ac- expected to defend Don Juan, or any other inter quirements, well known to the public as the author poetry, and shall not make the attempt to be of the City of the Plague, Isle of Palms, and other though I do not think that Mr. John Wilson bus za productions. I take the liberty of naming him, by this instance treated me with candour or consideratiet, the same species of courtesy which has induced him to I trust that the tone I have used in speaking a b designate me as the author of Don Juan. Upon the personally will prove that I bear him as little and score of the Lake Poets, he may perhaps recall to mind as I really believe at the bottom of his heart he has that I merely express an opinion long ago entertained towards me; but the duties of an editor, like best and specified in a letter to Mr. James Hogg, (4) which of a tax-gatherer, are paramount and perempty. he the said James Hogg, somewhat contrary to the law | I have done. of pens, showed to Mr. John Wilson, in the year 1814,


to b

(1) Author of Wallace, or the Fight of Falkirk, Margaret | couth, powers. I think very highly of him as a pret; of Anjou, and other poems.-L. E.

be and half of these Scotch and Lake troubadoors are (2) Miss Mary Russell Mitford, author of Christina, or tho by living in little circles and petty societies.-B. LAKA Maid of the South Seas, Wallington Hall, Our Village, etc. -LE. etc.-L.E.

(6) The reader will find, on reference to Moore's a (3) Miss Eliza Francis published, in 1816, Sir Wilbert de Buron, that his Lordship was not less mistaken in att IV averley; or the Bridal Eve.--L.E.

the “Remarks on Don Juan" in the Edinburgh Magasi (4) “Oh! I bave had the most amusing letter from Hogg, Professor Wilson, than in supposing Dr. Chalmers to the Ettrick minstrel and shepherd. He wants me to recom | been the Presbyter Anglicanus” who criticised his blir mend him to Murray; and, speaking of his present booksel - the same journal.-L.E. ler, whose bills' are never lifted,' he adds, totidem verbis, (6) The allusion here is to some now forgotten caia

God d-n him, and them both. I laughed, and so would which had been circulated by the radical press, at u you too, at the way in which this execration is introduced.

Chair of Wor

when Mr. Wilson was a candidate for the Chair & B The said Hogg is a strange being, but of great, though un. | Philosophy in the University of Edinburgb.-LE

Miscellaneous Pieces in Prose.


commonplace ideas, at the same time clothing them in

language not simple, but puerile. What will any WORDSWORTH'S POEMS, 2 Vols. 1807.(1) | reader or auditor, out of the nursery, say to such

| namby-pamby as Lines written at the Foot of Bro(From Monthly Literary Recreations, for August, 1807.)

ther's Bridge? The volumes before us are by the author of Lyrical

“The cock is crowing, Ballads, a collection which has not undeservedly met

The stream is fowing,

The small birds twitter, with a considerable share of public applause. The

The lake doth glitter; characteristics of Mr.W.'s muse are simple and flowing,

The green field sleeps in the sun; though occasionally inharmonious, verse, strong and

The oldest and youngest, sometimes irresistible appeals to the feelings, with

Are at work with the strongest ;

The cattle are grazing, anexceptionable sentiments. Though the present work

Their heads never raising, may not equal his former efforts, many of the poems

There are forty feeding like ono. possess a native elegance, natural and unaffected, to

Like an army defeated, tally devoid of the tinsel embellishments and abstract

The snow hath retreated,

And now doth fare ill, hyperboles of several contemporary sonneteers. The

On the top of the bare hill." last sonnet in the first volume, p. 152, is perhaps the best, without any novelty in the sentiments, which

« The plough-boy is whooping anon, anon," etc. etc. we hope are common to every Briton at the present

is in the same exquisite measure. This appears to

us neither more nor less than an imitation of such crisis; the force and expression is that of a genuine poet, feeling as he writes:

minstrelsy as soothed our cries in the cradle, with the

shrill ditty of "Another year! another deadly blow!

"Hey de diddle, Another mighty empire overthrown!

The cat and the fiddle: And we are left, or shall be left, alone

The cow jump'd over the moon, The last that dares to struggle with the foe.

The little dog laugh'd to see such sport, 'Tis well l-from this day forward we shall know

And the dish ran away with the spoon."
That in ourselves our safety must be sought,
That by our own right-hands it must be wronght;

On the whole, however, with the exception of the That we must stand unpropp'd, or be laid low. above, and other INNOCENT odes of the same cast, we O dastard! whom such foretaste doth not cheerl

think these volumes display a genius worthy of higher We shall exult, if they who rule the land Be men who hold its many blessings dear,

pursuits, and regret that Mr. W. confines his muse to Wise, upright, valiant; not a venal band,

such trifling subjects. We trust his motto will be in Who are to judge of danger which they fear,

future, “Paulo majora canamus." Many, with inAnd honour which they do not understand.”

ferior abilities, have acquired a loflier seat on ParThe Song at the Feast of Brougham Castle, the Seven nassus, merely by attempting strains in which Mr. Sisters, the Affliction of Margaret of pos Wordsworth is more qualified to excel.(2) sess all the beauties, and few of the defects, of this writer: the following lines, from the last, are in his


ITINERARY OF GREECE. "Ah! little doth the young one dream, When full of play and childish cares,

(From the Monthly Review for August, 1811.) What power bath e'en his wildest scream, Heard by his mother una wares;

That laudable curiosity concerning the remains of He knows it not, he cannot guess :

classical antiquity, which has of late years increased Years to a mother bring distress,

among our countrymen, is in no traveller or author But do not make her love the less."

more conspicuous than in Mr. Gell. Whatever difThe pieces least worthy of the author are those en ference of opinion may yet exist with regard to the titled Moods of my own Mind. We certainly wish success of the several disputants in the famous Trojan these “Moods” had been less frequent, or not per- controversy,(3) or, indeed, relating to the present aumitted to occupy a place near works which only make thor's merits as an inspector of the Troad, it must their deformity more obvious: when Mr. W. ceases to universally be acknowledged that any work, which please, it is by "abandoning” his mind to the most more forcibly impresses on our imaginations the scenes

(1) “I have been a reviewer. In 1807, in a Magazine called Monthly Literary Recreations, I reviewed Words. worth's trash of that time. In the Monthly Review I wrote tome articles which were inserted. This was in the latter part of 1811." Byron.-L.E.

(2) “This first attempt of Lord Byron at reviewing is re. markable only as showing how plausibly he could assume the established tone and phraseology of these minor judg. ment-seats of criticism. If Mr. Wordsworth ever chanced to cast his eye over this article, how little could he have

expected that under that dull prosaic mask lurked one who, in five short years from thence, would rival even him in poetry!” Moore.-L.E.

(3) We have it from the best authority that the venerable leader of the Anti-Homeric sect, Jacob Bryant, several years before his death, expressed regret for his ungrateful attempt to destroy some of the most pleasing associations of our youthful studies. One of his last wishes was— Trojaque nunc stares,” ete.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »