« VorigeDoorgaan »
roused a muse of fire before its time, but not! The last publication of the year 1812 was the before its strength was at its height, and, in all Rokeby of Scott-less successful than any of his probability, added to the bulk and value of the former efforts, and with less of the blaze of true poems he has left us ; for there is little reason to genius about it. Copies were scarce at first,suppose that Byron's life would, under any circumstances, have extended much, if at all, beyond /“ Pray have you got Rokeby? for I have got mine, the six-and thirty years to which it ran.
The mail-coach edition, prodigiously fine; Birds cease to sing when kites are in the sky, I and when copies were got, disappointment almost but real poets, though depressed by criticisms for as speedily ensued. Fine passages throughout a time, revive with wonted vigor, and try a new lthen flight in the poetic heaven. Byron understood sification was the same with his other poems, and
| vigor, and try a new the poem unquestionably there are. But the verthis thoroughly when he sang,
what Curl called “the knack” was caught by a " Yet there will still be bards, though fame is / herd of tasteless imitators. smoke.
"I well remember," writes Lockhart, “ being Its fumes are frankincense to human thought; in those days a young student at Oxford, how the And the unquiet feclings which first woke
| booksellers' shops there were beleaguered for the Song in the world, will seek what then they earliest copies, and how he that had been so fortusought.”
nate as to secure one was followed to his chamber
by a tribe of friends, all as eager to hear it read as Campbell, the pet of the reviewers, put forward ever horse-jockeys were to see the conclusion of a his Gertrude of Wyoming in 1809; Crabbe, match at New-market; and, indeed, not a few of another favorite, his Borough, in 1810; Scott, those enthusiastic academics had bets depending
The Lady of the Lake ; and Southey, his noblest on the issue of the struggle, which they considpoem by far, his Curse of Kehama, in the same ered the elder favorite as making to keep his own year. Our accessions were considerable, so were ground against the fiery rivalry of Childe Harold." our losses. Anstey was removed from among us Byron had novelty on his side, and Scoli had 10 in 1805, forty years after the publication of The encounter the satiety of the public ear. Other cir. New Bath Guide ; Charlotte Smith and Kirke cumstances, moreover, were against him. Moore White in 1806; Home in 1808, sixty years after had given a humorous fling at the poem in his the tragedy of Douglas, and an ode addressed to Twopenny Post Bag; and the Messrs. Smith, in him by Collins, had secured his fame; Miss “ A Tale of Drury Lane,” in The Rejected AdSeward, whose feeble lucubrations I have omitted dresses, a ludicrous turn to the manner and matter to detail, was removed in 1809; Tannahill, in of his former poems. He felt what Byron calls 1810; Grahame and Leyden, in 1811; and in the his “reign” was over, and turning from poetry to same year the venerable Bishop Percy, whose prose, left the field of verse to a formidable rival, Reliques of English Poetry had wrought the and employed his pen in the composition of a changes of which he lived to see so many noble lighter style of literature-one in which he achieved and permanent effects.
la second reputation, and one in which he is still Tales in Verse, The World before the Flood, without a rival, The Isle of Palms, and some of the lighter poems The public at large have never cared much of the year 1812, suffered an eclipse in the great about poems writien in Spenser's stanzas, and quarto publication of that year, the two first cantos Byron was wise when he postponed the completion of Childe Harold. Murray gave 6001. for the of his poem in that measure to a later period. copyright; the sale was instantaneous, and “I Scott had awakened a taste for incident and story. awoke one morning," as the author records, “and or mere description the public had had enough found myself famous.” The success of the poem already ; and of legendary sales in verse more than was complete, and people applied 10 the new poet enough. People were tired, moreover, of border what Waller had said of Denham, “ that he broke raids and Highland scenery ; they longed for novelty out like the Irish Rebellion, threescore thousand and for another clime, and they got their wish. strong, when nobody was aware or at the least There was no suspense ; the poet kept pace with suspected it.”
the public : and The Giaour and The Bride of The memorable quarto of the month of March Abydos were still in the infancy of their fame, (Childe Harold) was followed in October by one when The Corsair, Lara, and The Sirge of Coof the wittiest little volumes in the English lan-Irinth, appeared to await the judgment of the public. guage. The Rejected Addresses of the Messrs. The poet was not unmindful of the fate of others. Smith. The Pipe of Tobacco, by Isaac Hawkins He knew, moreover, the capricious turns of the Browne, cever as it is, must sink before the little public taste, and how necessary it was, to mainbrochure of the successful brothers. Philips, in iain his ground, that he should frequently renew his Splendid Shilling, is not more happy in his his title to the rank assigned him. Afraid that mock imitation of Milton's manner than the people were beginning to get tired of Turkish Messrs. Smith of Lord Byron's in the stanzas tales, he added a third canto to Childe Harold; called “ Cui Bono?" The Crabbe, the Scott, the and when the fourth and last canto of that noble Southey, the Wordsworth, are all good-indeed, I poem was published, be produced a novelty at the there is not a bad parody in the volume; the same time, a Venetian story (Beppo) in WhisileCrabbe, in a word, is better than Crabbe,
craft verse-itself a novelty. Churchill's four * Something had happened wrong about a bill,
years were not better sustained than Byron's Which was got drawn with true mercantile skill;
twelve. From tales in tripping verse he iurned So to amend it I was told to go,
to dramas ; and when Manfred and Cain, and
Sardanapalus and Werner had done their work, And seek the firm of Clutterbuck and Co."
Don Juan was taken up as a new string to his Surely “ Emanuel Jennings,” compared with bow. This, his last, and in some respects his the above, rises, as the Messrs. Smith remark, to ablest, work was left unfinished at his death. sublimity itself.
What new style he would have attempted or
what success was likely to attend a fifth new man- | The cobbler kept him to his awl; but now ner, I need not stay to conjecture. His career He'll be a poet, scarce can guide a plough." was brilliant but short, and though he excelled in
Ben Jonson. every style he attempted, there is every reason to
But the present condition of our poetry will suppose that he had done his best. While Byron blazed the comet of a season,
afford material for another paper. Shelley and Keats appeared and passed away,
PART 11. AND CONCLUSION. leaving some noble memorials of their genjas behind them: The Adonais, The Hyperion, The Hogg has told an amusing anecdote of Words Cloud, the Sonneton Chapman's Homer. But worth at Mount Rydal. It chanced ope night Shelley is too obscure, and Keats too mythological ; while the bard of Kilmeny was at the Lakes with not the obscurity of thoughts 100 great for words, Wordsworth, Wilson, and De Quincey, that a or a mythological taste derived from a repletion of resplendent arch, something like the aurora bo learning, but the obscurity of haste and the mytho- realis, was observed across the zenith, from the logical abundance of one who was not a scholar. ope horizon to the other. The splendid meteor Other poems of repute and consequence appeared became the subject of conversation, and the table in the same short season. Not a year went by was left for an eminence outside where its effect without producing more than one volume of a could be seen to greater advantage. Miss Words quality we never see now.
worth, the poet's sister, who accompanied them, In 1813, Hogg appeared with The Queen's expressed a fear lest the brilliant stranger might Wake, containing ** Bonny Kilmeny;" Allan Cun-prove ominous, when Hogg, thinking he was sayningham, with a volume of songs, some of surpass-ing a good thing, hazarded the remark that it was ing beauty ; Moore, with his Twopenny Post- neither more nor less " than joost a treenmphal Bag; Coleridge with a tragedy (Remorse ;) and airch raised in honor of the meeting of the poets." Scott, in disguise, with The Bridal of Triermain. Miss Wordsworth smiled, and Wilson laughed and In 1814, Wordsworth enriched our poetry with declared the idea not amiss. But when it was his much-decried Excursion; Moore, with his told to Wordsworth he took De Quincey aside, Irish Melodies ; Southey, with his Roderick; and and said lood enough to be heard by more than the Rogers, with his Jacqueline. Scott, in the follow-person he was addressing, " Poets! poets! what ing year, gave us The Lord of the Isles and The does the fellow mean? Where are they !" Hogg Field of Waterloo; and Leigh Hunt, "a real was a little offended at the time, but he enjoyed it good and very original poem," his Rimini. Wil- afterwards; and we have heard him tell the story son, already known by his Isle of Palms, gained in his own “ slee" and inimitable manner, and another wreath, in 1816, by his City of the Plague. laugh immoderately as he told it. Poor James Lallah Rookh, and The Sibylline Leaves of Cole- Hogg! Regino has reason to remember James ; ridge, containing “ The Rime of the Ancient Mar- nor was the poet of " Kilmeny" forgotten when iner," will make the year 1817 a memorable year dead, by the great poet of the Excursion. There in the annals of poetry whenever they are written. is nothing more touching in poetry since the time Keats' Endymion was a publication of the year of Collins than Wordsworth's extempore verses on 1818; Shelley's Cenci, Crabbe's Tales of the Hall, the shepherd's death. He knew his claims to be Rogers' Human Life, and Wordsworth's Peter called a poet, and time will confirm his judgmeat Bell and The Wagoner, belong to 1819 ; Keats' and make the Rydal aurora a story merely to Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnus, and other amuse. poems, to 1820; Shelley's Queen Mab and Adon- Poets, where are they? Is poetry extinct ais; Southey's Vision of Judgment, and Byron's among ns, or is it only dormant! Is the erop parody of the poem, to the year 1821; Rogers' exhausted, and must the field lie fallow fur a time! Italy and Scott's Holidon Hill, to 1822; The Or is it that, in this commercial nation of ours, Loves of the Angels of Moore, to 1823 ; Campbell's where everything is weighed in Rothschild's scales Theodoric, to 1824, and Southey's Tale of Para- of pecuniary excellence, that we have no good guay, to 1825. Song after this began to cease poetry because we have no demand for it! We among us; Byron and Shelley, and Keats, were falter while we think it is so. Poets we still dead; Scott and Southey, silent; Coleridge dream- hare, and poetry at times of a rich and povel, but ing away existence,
a cultivated flavor. Hardly a week elapses that
does not give birth to as many different volumes "Fond to begin, but still to finish loathe ;"
of verses as there are days in the week. But then Campbell past bis prime ; Rogers and Moore there is little that is good ; much that tras imagiunwilling, rather than unable ; Wilson busy with nation, and much that might have passed for The Noctes Ambrosiana ; Wordsworth confined poetry when verse was in its infancy among us.
... Much of that clock-work tintinabulum of rhyme " Within the sonnet's scanty plot of ground;" that cuckoo kind of verse wbich palls upon the Flogg cultivating sheep on Yarrow, and Allan mind and really disgusts you with rerse of a ('unningham superintending the marble progeny higher character. But now we look, and justly of Chantrey. Song, truly, had gone out among too, for something more. Whilst we imitate os. No one seems to write from the inborn furce others we can no more excel than he that sails hry of his own genius, from Nature, and his own full others' maps can make a new discovery. All the thoughts :
old dishes of the ancients have been new healed
and new set forth usque ad - But we forbear. " Now each court hobby-horse will wince in People look for something more than schoolboy rhyme;
common places and thoughts at second-hand, and Both learn'd and unlearn'd, all write plays. novelties and notbing more, without a single grain It was not so of old: men took up trades
of salt to savor the tun of anmeaningness which That knew the crafts they had been bred in right; they carry with them. It is no easy matter to An honest bilboe-smith would make good blades, become a poet,
“ Consules fiunt quotannis, et novi pro-consules, And beats at heaven's gates with her bright
Solus aut rex aut poeta non quotannis nascitur;"| hoofs ?"-Ben JONSON. or, as the old water-poet phrased it,
Benjamin West, the painter, trafficked with · When Heaven intends to do some mighty thing what way? “ Without expression, fancy, or de
subjects of the same sublime description. And in He makes a poet, or at leastma king."
sign;" without genius and without art. People South was of opinion that the composition of an forget, or choose to forget, that subject alone is not epigram was the next great difficulty to an epic sufficient for a poem.,
sufficient for a poem. Look at Burns' “ Mou se" poem.
or Wordsworth's “ Peter Bell,” or Wilkie's * And South beheld that master-piece of man.”
“ Blind Fiddler," or Gainsborough's “ Cottager"
with a dish of cream. It is the treatment which Coscombs who consider the composition of a song ennobles. But there is no driving this into some an easy matter, should set themselves down, as people's ears. Big with the swollen ambition of Burns says, and try. Ask Tommy Moore how securing a footing on the sun-bright summits of many days and nights he has given to a single Parnassus, they plume themselves on borrowed stanza in an Irish melody? Ask Sam Rogers how wings and bladders of their own, and after a world long he has spent over the composition of a couplet of ink, a world of big ideas, and a copied inpocain An Epistle to a Friend; or Wordsworth how tion, they struggle to ascend, and pant and toil to Jong he has labored with a sonnet; or Bowles- the end of an epic, in as many books as the Iiad yes, ask the Vicar of Bremhill, if he does not owe or the Æneid. Would that your Robert Montthe bright finish of his verse as much to pains as gomerys, your Edwin Atherstones, and sundry happiness? Dryden toiled for a fortnight over his such who understand the art of sinking in the low Alerander's Feast, and yet he wrote with ease-profound would that they would reflect for five not the ease of the mob of gentlemen ridiculed by minutes on what an epic poem really is! And Pope, but with great fluency of idea and great what it is, and what it ought to be, glorious John mastery of expression. Good things are not Dryden tells us in a very few words. “A heroic knocked off at a heat-for a long juinp there must poem," he says, “truly such, is undoubtedly the be a very long run, and a long preparatory training greatest work which the soul of man is capable to too. There is no saying, “ Í will be a poet." perform." And so it is. Only consider not the long apprenticeship alone, "A work,” says Milton, “ not to be raised from but the long servitude which the muse requires the heat of youth or the vapors of wine ; but by from those who would invoke her rightly. devout prayer to that Eternal Spirit who can en
“ In a poet no kind of knowledge is to be over- rich with all utterance and knowledge, and sends looked ; to a poet nothing can be useless. What out his seraphim with the hallowed fire of his altar ever is beautiful and whatever is dreadful must be to touch and purify the lips of whom he pleases." familiar to his imagination ; he must be conversant And yet Murray and Moxon are troubled once a with all that is awfully vast or elegantly little. week, at the least, with the offer of a new epic, The plants of the garden, the animals of the wood, for a certain sum--so run the terms-or, in case the minerals of the earth, the meteors of the sky, of declining that, for half profits. As if epics must all concur to store his mind with inexhausii- were blackberries, and men sought fame as Smith ble variety, for every idea is useful for the enforce- O'Brien seeks reputation-by an impertinent folly ment or decoration of religious truth, and he who of their own! But “ fools rush in," and there will knows the most will have most power of diversi- still be poetasters—Black more and his brethrenfying his scenes and of gratifying his reader with in spite of critics, hard words, and something harder remote allusions and unexpected instruction."* still-contemptuqus neglect.
Every one remembers (poets theniselves per- Few live to see their fame established on a firm haps excepted) the long course of study and pre- and unalterable foundation. The kind criticisms paration which Milton laid down for himself before of friends conspire at times to give a false position he stripped for the Paradise Lost. And yet one to a poem, or the malice of enemies unite to obtain would hardly think, on first reflection, that any for it one equally undeserved. Who now reads course of preparation was necessary for the poet Hayley? How many are there in the position of of Comus, and Lycidas, and the Hymn on the Na- Gascoigne and Churchyard as described by old tivity of Christ. But Milton fully understood the Michael Drayton ! height of his great argument, and how unequalled
“ Accounted were great meterers many a day,
Accounted were great mete with every lengthened preparation he must be to But not inspired with bravefire; had they record it rightly. But people (not poets) start Lived but a little longer they had seen epics now-a-days without any kind of considera- | Their works before them to have buried been." tion. No subject is too great for them. Satan, Chaos, The Messiah, The Omnipresence of the
That " lived but a little lon ver!" It is well Deity, the Fall of Nineveh. The World before the they did n't. How will it be with the poets of the Flood. One shudders at the very idea of subjects past generation two hundred years from this? 80 sublime taken up as holyday recreations by
They cannot possibly go down “complete." would-be poets without the vision and the faculty
There must be a weeding Fancy Sir Walter divine, or any other merit (if merit it may be called)
Scott in twelve volumes, Byron in ten, Southey than the mere impudence of daring :
in ten, Moore in ten, Wordsworth in six-to say
nothing of Campbell in two volumes, Rogers in “When will men learn but to distinguish spirits, two, and Shelley in four. The poets of the last And set true difference 'twixt the jaded wits generation form a library of themselves. And if That run a broken pace for common hire,
poetry is multiplied hereafter at the same rate, we And the high raptures of a happy muse,
shall want fresh shelves, fresh patience, and a Borne on the wings of her immortal thought, new lease of life, for threescore and ten of scriptuThat kicks at earth with a disdainful heel,
ral existence is far too short to get acquainted with
the past and keep up our intimacy with the pres * Rasselas.
ent. The literature of the last fifty years is a study of itself-Scott's novels, Scott's poetry, Scott's For words are in poetry what colors are in paintMiscellanies, and Scou's Life! Then of the pres- ing, and the music of numbers is not to be matched ent, there are the daily papers, the weekly jour- or done without. Look at Donne. Would not nals, the monthly magazines, the quarterly reviews, Donne's satires, which abound with so much wit, all of which we are expected to have a fair passing appear more charming if he had taken care of his acquaintance with. There is Mr. Dickens' last words and of his numbers! Whereas his verse is book on the table, which I have not as yet had now-if verse it may be called time to read, and old Burton's Anatomy of Melan
"A kind of hobbling prose, choly by its side, coaxing me to renew a youthful
Which limps along and tinkles in the close." acquaintance with its pages; and there are TrisLram Shandy, and Humphrey Clinker, and dear de- | There goes much more to the composition of even lightful Amelia, which I fain would read again, a third-rate poet than rhymesters at first are willing but cannot, I fear, for want of time. Only observe to allow, for to nature, exercise, imitation, study, the dust on that fine Froissart on my shelves, and art must be added to make all these perfect that noble old copy of Ben Jonson's works in folio, outo puois i xam yeveral reynis atip OUTE NA M NT with a mark. I could swear, in the third act of the quoi xextruern-Without art nature can never be Alchemist or the Silent Woman. There is no perfect, and without nature art can claim no being. keeping pace with the present while we pay any. One of Boswell's recorded conversations with the thing like due attention to the past. I pity that great hero of his admiration was on the subject of man who reads Albert Smith who never read a collection being made of all the poems of all Parthenissa ; but perhaps he pities me because I the English poets who had published a volume of am indifferently up in the writer he admires. How poems. people are cut off from the full literary enjoyments! “Johnson told me," he says, “that a Mr. Coxof this life who never read “ Munro his Expedi- eter, whom he knew, had gone the greatest length tion." or the Duchess of Newcastle's Life of the towards this, having collected about 500 volumes Duke her husband, or Tom Brown, or Ned Ward, of poets whose works were little known; but that or Roger L'Estrange. or Tom Corvat, or " the upon his death Tom Osborne bought them, and works sixty-three in number” of old John Taylor, they were dispersed, which he thought a pity, as the sculler on the Thames!
it was curious to see any series complete, and in We wish for poets who will write when Nature every volume of poems something good may be and their full thoughts bid them, and are not ex-found: acting when we look for more than one sprig of! This was a kindly criticism, uttered in the gond laurel to grace a garland. We have already nature of an easy moment, hardly applicable to the enough of would-be poets-Augustus Cæsar, King volumes of verse we see published now. Sarely James I., Cardinal Richelieu, the great Lord Clar- there are many put forth without a redeeming endon, the celebrated Lord Bolingbroke, the fa stanza or passage to atone for the dry desert of a mous Lord Chatham : but poetry is what old thousand lines through which the critic is doomed George Chapman calls it-a' flower of the sun, /to wander in quest of beauties which he fain would which disdains to open to the eye of a candle.
find. Surely Coxeter's collection contained a ** No power the muses' favor can command,
very large number of one-idea'd volumes !
We could have helped him What Richelieu wanted Liais scarce could gain,
from our own
shelves to a very fair collection of verse printed And what young Ammon wish'd and wish'd in
before 1747, when this "curious" collector vain."
died, full of the most trivial nothingnesses. For Your "rich ill poets are without excuse."* a little volume of verse of the reign of Queen “ Your verse's, good sir, are no poems, they'll not Elizabeth, said to be unique, or nearly so, Jr. hinder your rising in the state."+ "'Tis ridicu- Miller has been known to give twenty guineas of lous for a lund to print verses ; 't is well enough more, and think himself lucky that he has been let to make them to please himself, but to make them off thus easily. Some of these twenty-guinea volpublic is foolish." 1 People affect to think that umes we have had the curiosity to look into, the same talents and application which raised Lord Poetry there is none; nothing more, indeed, than Mansfield to the highest honor of the gown, would, the mere similitude of verse. Songs, differing had they been turned to the study of poetry, have from sonnets because the lines are shorter, and raised him to as high a position in the catalogue sonnets, only to be recognized as such from the of our poets. 'Tis pretty enough when told in fourteen lines which the writer, in compliance with verse
custom, has prudently confined them to. “ How many an Ovid was in Murray lost ;" " Authors, like coins, grow dear as they grow yet we are inclined to think that there is very little
It is the rust we value, not the gold." in it, and that Wordsworth is nearer the mark, It is curious, however, to see any collec who says of self-communing and unrecorded men-complete ; and Mr. Miller is to be praised for " Oh, many are the poets that are sown
unceasing endeavors to make his collection By Nature ; men endowed with highest gifts, English poetry (literally so called) as complet The vision and the faculty divine,
possible. Yet wanting the accomplishment of verse." The poet of the Irish Melodies made an obs. But this one word " accomplishment" implies a
e tion when at Abbotsford, too curious to be pa good deal more than mere dexterity and ease-cul
over in a paper of this description, when we ture and the inspiring aid of books,
sider the merit of the remark itself, the rank o
poet who made it, and the reputation of the " Pauses, cadence, and well-vowell'd words, who responded to its truth :And all the graces a good ear affords."
"Hardly a magazine is now published,” said • Lord Roscommon.
Moore, " that does not contain verses which, some • Selden's Table Talk.
thirty years ago, would have made a reputation."
Scoit turned with a look of shrewd humor on his
friend, as if chuckling over his own success, and God, in health and vigor, and as fond of poetry as said
ever, he has outlived by the period of an appren"Ecod, we were in the luck of it to come be- ticeship, the three-score years and ten, the Scripfure these fellows!” and added, playfully flourish-tural limitation of the life of man. When Wordsing his stick as he spoke, “ we have, like Boabdil, worth dies, there will be a new session of the taught them to beat us at our own weapons." poets for the office of poet-laureate. To whoni
There cannot be a doubt but that the poetry of will the lord-chamberlain assign the laurel, honthe present day is of that mediocre level of descrip-ored and disgraced by a variety of wearers ? To tion which neither pleases nor offends; and that whom will the unshorn deity assign it? There much of it, if published sixty years ago, or even may be a difference of opinion between the poet's thirty years ago, would have secured for more than God and the court lord-chamberlain; there have one writer a high reputation at the time, and possi- | been differences heretofore, or else Shadwell and bls a place in Chalmers' collected edition of our Tate, Eusden and Cibber, Whitehead and Pye had British Poels. Such a reputation as Miss Seward never succeeded to the laurels of famous Ben Jonachieved, or Hayley, or Oram, or Headley, or son and glorious John Dryden. Who are our Hardis :
young and our rising poets likely to become claim" Fame then was cheap, and the first comers
ants, and to have their case considered by Phæbus sped ;
A pollo in the new session he must summon before And they have kept it since by being dead."
And A pollo himself was at it, they say; There was a time when a single poem, nay, a The laurel that had been so long reserved, decent epigram, procured a niche for its writer in Was now to be given to him best deserved.” the temple of our poetry ; but these times are gone by, inundated as we now are with verses of one And, particular level of merit, as flat as the waste of
“ Therefore, the wits of the town came thither, Cumberland, and equally unprofitable ; so that the
'T was strange to see how they fock'd together; poet, ambitions of a high reputation in our letters,
1 Each strongly confident of his own way,
Fach strong must make it upon something that is completely
Thought to carry the laurel away that day." novel; and there, as Scott remarked, will rest the only chance for an extended reputation.
How Suckling would put them forward, we Poetry has become an easy art, and people have must leave to the fancy of the reader. We can do been taught to pump for poetry without a Gildon very little more than enumerate the names of canor a Bysshe to aid their labors. Wakely can laugh didates likely to be present on the occasion. We in the house of commons at the poetry of Words can conceive their entry somewhat after the followworth, and treat the senators who surround him ing manner. A herald, followed by an attendant with a happy imitation of the great poet of his with a tray of epics from Nineveh at twelve shiltime. Verse has become an extempore kind of lings to Orion at a farthing, and the authors art, a thing to be assumed when wanted ; and arranged pretty nearly as follows ;-Atherstone O'Connell can throw off at a heat a clever parody first (as the favorite poet of Lord Jeffrey's later upon Dryden's famous epigram ; as if, like Theo-lucubrations ;) Robert Montgomery, 2; Heraud, 3; dore Hook, he had served an apprenticeship to the Read, 4; Horne, 5; and Ben Disraeli, 6. To happy art of imitation. That ihe bulk of the so. the epic portion of the candidates the dramatists called poetry of the present day—“ nonsense, well will succeed, fresh from Sadler's Wells and the tuned and sweet stupidity''-is injurious to a Surrey, and led by Talfourd and Bulwer, and folproper estimation of the true-born poets who still lowed by Mr. Marston, Mr. Trowton, Mr. Henry exist, there cannot be a doubt; that it is injurious, Taylor, Sir Coutts Lindsay, Mr. Sullivan and Mr. moreover, to the advancement of poetry among us, Spicer ; Jerrold representing comedy, without a is, I think, equally the case. Poeiry, in the highest fellow to rival or support him. Then will follow sense of the word, was never better understood, the ballad-writers; Macaulay by himself, and though never, perhaps, less cultivated than it is Smythe and Lord John Manners walking like the now. Criticism has taken a high stand ; and Babes in the Wood together. To the trio will when the rage for rhyme has fairly exhausted it- succeed Alfred Tennyson and Robert Browning, self, nature will revive among us, and we shall Monckton Milnes, Charles Mackay, and Coventry have a new race of poets to uphold, if not to Patmore, followed by a galaxy of ladies for the eclipse, the glories of the old. There are many gallery, led by Mrs. Norton and Miss Barrelt; still among us to repeat without any kind of brag- with Camilla Toulmin, with a bunch of flowers ; gart in their blood :
Frances Brown, with a number of the Athenaum;
Eliza Cook, with Mr. Cayley's commendation ; "O if my temples were distain'd with wine,
Miss Costello with a Persian rose ; and Mrs. And girt in girlonds of wilde yvie twine, How could I reare the muse on stately stage,
Ogilvy, with her quarto volume of minstrelsy from And teach her tread aloft in buskin fine,
the north. We can fancy Apollo's confusion at With queint Bellona in her equipage.”
the number; and should in some measure he
inclined to abide by his opinion, should he give the Spenser.
laurel at the end, as Suckling has made him, to When poetry was all but extinct among us, Cow- an alderman of London ; per and Burns came forward to revive the drooping l...o anonlu declared that it was
e arooping" He openly declared that 't was the best sign muse, and show us, unmistakably enough, that
Of good store of wit to have good store of coin men and studies may decay, but nature never
And without a syllable more or less said, dies. There is little reason to suppose that the great
He put the laurel on the alderman's head. poet of the Ercursion is likely to remain more At this all the wits were in such a maze, than a few years among us; for though, thank That for a good while they did nothing but gaze