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πατώ δ' απαντα θυμω. .
I kick the world before me.
If frame of a mortal enshrines fancy's store,
His style, point, and metre, completely his own.(1)
(9) Menage, speaking of Martial, the epigrammatist, asserts, that there is no Latin poet whatsoever in whose works there are
Sometimes he will doubtless offend prudish ears,
Yet failings like these are with beauties so blended, Where censure is due, still the bard is commended.
But leaving such themes, let us view him turn wag, A Post Boy poetic, with two-penny_bag ; (m)
so many things that might have transpired in the course of conversation as are to be found in the epigrams of this poet; and in like manner no writer of the present epoch can compare with Mr. Moore in his amatory effusions and the easy flow of his versification; the perusal of which never fails to bring to recollection the lines of Virgil, taken in a literal sense, where he says,
Tale tuum carmen nobis, divine Poeta,
As pleasing are thy verses to us, divine Poet, as sleep is to the wearied, &c. &c.
It appears, indeed, as if this gentleman was inspired with all the exuberance of Ovid, and the mental energy of Armstrong ; he never assumes the pen but to entrance with delight, and stamp upon the mind a conviction that Poeta nascitur non fit.
(m) It has been disputed whether the abovementioned production is from the pen of the gentleman now under review.
His letters satiric bring Horace to view,
For love, wine, and wit, Moore ranks first of the
throng; Nor will I, in praising, retrench e'en a tittle, For all I can say proves that all is too little :(n)
who, I believe, denies any knowledge of this satiric effusion ; the appearance of which is said to have deprived him of a very lucrative post under the Governor-General of India. As the above lines, however, denominate Mr. Moore as the writer of The Two-Penny Post Bag, I should conjecture that the poet had some just cause for venturing upon the allegation : at all events, I can only say, as the humble annotator, that if the genuine trifle in question be not the production of our offspring of Anacreon, there are certainly two súns now blazing in the world of literature.
(n) It was a frequent complaint of Goldsmith, that he lived in too late an age for poetry: he seemed to consider the simple and genuine productions of the Muse as of too delicate a nature to arrest the attention of minds accustomed to the
Bright son of Apollo ! as such I salute thee;
strong stimuli of trade and ambition. Will the present age give the lie to this theory? -Never surely was there a greater abundance of poets than have sprung up in our days; and these poets have small reason to complain of coldness on the part of the public. But so strongly have we at present imbibed the spirit of trade, that we seem only to estimate a poet by the quantity of his productions, and the price they bear in the market. Were the few exquisite poems of a Goldsmith now to appear for the first time, they would make no impression on a public accustomed to quartos of original poetry by the month. A certain quantity of poetry is wanted in a given time, and he is accounted the greatest poet who can furnish the readiest and most abundant supply. That I am not going too far in my assertion, I have only to instance two well-known living poets. The one, Anacreon Moore, has from time to time produced some of the most exquisite lyrical effusions in our language, and which must dwell on the memory of every lover of the Muse. But are the public contented with these ? Every one allows their merit. Yet why, it is asked, can he not produce a more elaborate work? For this reason alone; he seems to be at present totally eclipsed by Walter Scott, the great fashionable poet of the day, whose surprising fertility a charitable British public seems willing to ascribe to an inexhaustible fancy. In
With vigorous pennon a Rogers now soars,
exhaustible this poet certainly is; but where are the passages which bespeak a : warm and creative fancy, and which soar beyond a certain easy mediocrity? Where is to be found the curious felicity which has always stamped a genuine offspring of the Muse ?