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Vindication of Lord Byron's Poetry.


mine his show of argument; premising, 1 Wordsworth, and as 'a specimen of however, that I confine myself to the his namby-pamby composition, take the present dispute, and do not meddle following verses, in which “explewith G. M.'s first born. I could refer tives their feeble aid to join;" and G. M. to one or two contemporary, which contains too much profanity to publications, to which I have contri- place him very high in the list of moral buted my mite; but as I consider those writers. trifles to have no connection with this

" Water, water, every where, controversy, I shall not, like him, And all the boards did shrink: “ somewhat pompously” particularize

Water, water, every where,

Ne any drop to drink. them.

The very deeps did rot, o Christ! G. M. illiberally insinuates that one

That ever this should be, who differs from him in opinion, can

Yea slimy things did crawl with legs not have read any British poet: he

Upon the sliny sea." shall find, however, that I have read

" The ice was here, the ice was there,

The ice was all around; Byron and Wordsworth; though I It crack'd, and growl'd, and roar'd, and howl'd confess that I never could get through

Like noises of a swound." the latter's

Ancyent Mariner.

“And thus to Betty's questions he “ Clumsy,frowzy Poem, call'd “The Excursion."

Made answer like a traveller bold; Besides G. M.'s assertion of Words

The coek did crow to whoo, tow hoo,

And the sun did shine so cold. worth's excellence, we are now treated

But when the poney mov'd his legs, with “ the puff direct,” by Coleridge Oh then for the poor idiot boy! and others; as if one Poet never com For joy he cannot hold the bridle,

For joy his head and heels are idle, plimented another! G. M. has produced

He's idle all for very joy, only one prose writer who has praised

And Betty's most especial charge Wordsworth; and he is sadly unfor Was, Johnny, Johnny, mind that you tunate in the author he named. “Sure

Coine home again, nor stop at all

Come home again whate'er befal, ly" G. M. “ cannot have read” Mr. | My Johnny do, I pray you do." Hazlitt's works. The following ex “And Johnny's lips, they burr, burr, burr." tracts from that gentleman's publica

Idiot Boy. tions, will show his opinion of Words

“ The squire said, Sure as Paradise worth and of Byron.

Was lost to Man by Adam's fall,” &c.

Peter Bell. " To Wordsworth, the great and the small are the same; the near aud the remote ; what is, Upon reading the above farrago,who aud what only appears to be! An intellectual egotism swallou's up every thing; even the dialogues introduced are soliloquies of the same the reviewer of “ Peter Bell,” 6Can character, taking different views of the same

Englishmen write, and Englishmen subject. The recluse, the pastor, and the ped. lar, are three persons in one Poet. With him, read, such drivel, such dandling, ima mole-hill, covered with wild thyme, assumes

potent drivel, as this? Weak indeed the importance of the guarded mount. A puddle is filled with præternatural faces, and agi

must be the mind,”(mark that, G. M.) tated with the fiercer storms of passion."

“that by any process of sophistry, or Hazlitt's Round Table, Vol. II.

long practice of patience,can be recon“ Wordsworth's Excursion' is more than any

ciled to it. We feel the force of custhing else in the world like Robinson Crusoe's boat; which would have been an excellent good tom to be almost omnipotent; but howboat, and would have carried him to the otber ever dulled and deadened our sense of side of the globe, but that he could not get it out

propriety, our sense of poetry, or of the sand where it stuck fast."

Hazlitt's Lectures on the English Poets. sense of every kind,may have been by Having anoted Lord Byron. Mr. the eternal repetition of similar imbeHazlitt observes, that he is

cilities, we should have thought, that,

until the very brains were extracted, no “A noble Poet, who is fulfilling the promise of

head could hold such unmeaning prit, bis youth.” Round Table, Vol. 1. tle-prattle as the above ; no tongue,

we are persuaded, tied by the thinnest These extracts evince that Mr. Haz-| litt's estimate of Wordsworth's and

silk of shame, would ever have poured

it forth. We really waste words, howLord Byron's Poetry, are totally different from G.M.'s account; and may,

ever, on what is scarcely word's worth. perhaps, teach your Derby correspon

We can only say, that if a nurse were

to talk to any of their children in this dent in future to remember that

manner, a sensible father and mother A little learning is a dangerous thing.” would be strongly disposed to dismiss To substantiate my character of her without a character." No. 33,--Vol III.

3 T


Vindication of Lord Byron's Poetry. 1020 nov.norocorrowroorwicorror.rvirrrrorernowoccisorum Many of Wordsworth's serious yea, iniquitous poem, of Don Juan, Poems appear to me, even below and not impugn his own innocence.” Dr. Jolinson's admirable burlesque : One portion of this very poem has, “ As with my hat upon my head

notwithstanding,my unqualified approI walk'd along the Strand,

bation-the beautiful song in praise of I there did meet another man

liberty. Hard must be the heart, With his hat in his hand."

cold the feelings, and UN-patriotic the They are more like

individual, that cannot relish that “ Te tum, te ti, te ti, te tum,

exquisite eulogy on freedom and glory. The days are gone, and the nights are come." That “ Don Juan" is not generally Yet this is the poet whom G. M. eu- deemed so very wicked a publication, logizes! Wordsworth is simple enough, is evident from one of the most ably and we know that

conducted reviews in the kingdom; a “A fellow-feeling makes us wondrous kind."

review, by the way, which has been

very far from flattering Lord Byron, But G. M.'s plaudits are in vain. The but which characterizes “ Don Juan Della Cruscan School is not to be as a poem that would have animated revived.

LONGINUS with some of its passages, Here lie the verses of W. W.

have delighted Aristophanes, and Which never more will trouble you trouble you. have choked Anacreon with joy in

As G. M. dares not vindicate his / stead of with a grape.” slander of Lord Byron, I have no

1 I now proceed to reply to my most desire to force him to the fight; espe-skilful opponent, G. J. and assure cially as I have two other opponents.

him that I turn to him with admiration Before quitting him, however, I would

of his shrewdness, and respect for his remind him, that “greater wits than candour: his letter is as much supehimself” have not been able to demo- (rior to G. M.'s in temper, as it is in lish Lord Byron's “poetical charac argument. I hope G. J. will pardon ter.” And I would recommend him me for the company in which I have not to insinuate again, pro pudor! I placed him. I am aware of Rochethat an admirer of his Lordship's po- | foucauld's adage, that “un homme etry must be an infidel. For my own d'esprit seroit souvent bien embarrassé part, I abjure, ex animo, the principles dans la compagnie des sots:" but I could of infidelity; though I do not, like not presume to trouble you, Mr. Edihim, pretend to be “ righteous over- | tor, with two letters on the subject, in much." But his malevolence over the same number of your Magazine. shoots itself. No infidel could or G. J. remarks, that Wordsworth would be a constant reader of such a | sometimes “soars to the blissful religious work as the “ Imperial Ma- | abodes of heaven.” Yes, Sir, nubes gazine.” It will be well for G. M. in nubibus! But, enough of Wordstoo, to get rid of his hauteur. Even / worth; let us turn to a nobler subject. in such “master spirits” as Warbur- / G. J. declares that he “will now conton and Wakefield, arrogance and scur-cede to Aristarchus that his Lordship rility were odious: how farcical then in possesses great and commanding pow. G. M. even with the dignified additioners of poetry; and that he writes in of “ Bridge-street. Derby.” In his the TRUE Spirit of a favorite of the own estimation, he may be the great | muses.” So liberal and gentlemanly sublime he' lauds ; but he may rest an opponent deserves

an opponent deserves the utmost assured that, in his attack upon Lord frankness; and I beg to assure bim in Byron, no one but himself mistakes return, ( let it not be whispered toG.M.) " the venom of his shaft, for the vigour that I never intended to describe Lord of his bow.”

Byron as « Σοφός και πολλά ειδώς φυά

“A faultless monster whom the world ne'er saw." Μαθόντες δε, λάβροι

And that I should rejoice, equally with Παγγλωσσία, κόρακες ως,

G. J. to see his Lordship’s “com"Akpavra yapvéuev,

manding” talents consecrated to the Διός προς όρνιχα θείον.”

interests of piety and virtue.

PINDAR. | In behalf of Lord Byron and mis Comedy next demands my attention. I poetry, I would respectfully suggest I marvel how” H. “could allow him- to G. J. one or two considerations.self to” write “ upon the unprofitable, I have somewhere read of a benevolen

Vindication of Lord Byron's Poetry.

1022 scowonerserowonnonvaratronoruovorwoorroweroworovourronsoroissvorossworror

Jew who, on acoount of his extensive | buffoon of nature herself,”his Lordship charity, was termed by his neigh- on this ground deserves the gratitude bours a good Christian. In this point of Wordsworth's real, though not of of view, his Lordship's character his soi-disant friends. Further: to a stands deservedly high. The nume- classical scholar, like G.J. should not rous well-authenticated anecdotes* of Lord Byron's “ bright and breathing” his beneficence related in various reli- descriptions of Parnassus, of Greece, gious publications, evince that, like and of Rome, atone for all his faults? the Jew, even the deistical Lord Byron These descriptions are indeed chefs is a good Christian. I would ask, too, d'ouvre in composition, and will live has not Lord Byron elevated the lite till “nature sink in years."I would rary taste of the age from “ the pueril also bespeak some consideration for ities of Wordsworth," and made even the English scholar. that writer himself decline his “un While the man of erudition enjoys meaning prittle-prattle.” The warm the literary treasures of ancient Athens est admirers of Wordsworth, (except and of ancient Rome, let not the mere such a violent bigot as G. M. Bridge English reader be debarred from the Street, Derby,) condemn his infantile loftiest productions of the British lisping; and if Lord Byron has mademuse. I readily admit that an author the lake-poet ashamed of being “ the who blends the utile cum dulce” is the

most deserving of praise ; and that a * * In 1812, during a temporary residence in

Milton's and a Cowper's piety gives some of the Greek islands, Lord Byron portion. additional zest to their poetry. But ed eight young girls, besides supplying them

while the Literati read works entirely with cotton and silk for the manufacture in whicb they were employed. He gave cows to for their style, surely a Byron, who some and horses to others; and a new boat to a

combines the fire of Homer with the fisherman who had lost his own in a gale. It is a fact positively ascertained, that he frequently

elegance of Virgil, and blends the wit gave Greek Testaments to the poor children resident at Mytilene. To the Greek Church

venal,-surely such a writer ought not there he gave forty pounds; to the hospitals sixty pounds; and distributed in private charity to be immured in “ the tomb of all the three hundred zechines. In Scio, to a farmer Capulets.” It would be easy, were wbo had lost a horse and cart in crossing the stream of Cauerio, he gave five guineas; and,

it proper, to name classic authors, at a visit received from the master and pupils compared with whom Lord Byron is of the school erected there, Afty pounds for the

purity in the abstract, yet they are use of the school, small donations to the scho. lars, and to the master himself a robe of velvet constantly read. Let not then his and satin. An aged Greek woman, residing at

Lordship's poems be withheld from a place called Epheseas, where she had occupied a small vineyard and two fields, was dis.

the mere English scholar: he cannot trained for rent. Albana, the Turkish collec have recourse to the treasures of antitor, seized her goods, and put them up for sale.

quity; let then his genius be fostered, Lord Byron bought and restored them to the widow. To tbe keeper of the cave called Ho and his literary taste improved, by the mer's School, he gave a Greek Testament and muse of Byron.—The“ obscenities" some money. His departure was marked by

of his Lordship deserve all the repromuch regret on the part of the Greeks, and even of the Turks, who, by an unwonted exer bation which G. J. can bestow upon tion of gallantry, fired a salute of four guns

them ; but they are of very rare occurfrom the castle, which he returned by eight. Cos, which he afterwards visited, was distin rence, except in one poem, which, by guished by acts of beneficence equally numerous. Since his Lordship's residence at Venice, a printer, at Malinari, had the whole of his pre

it published by his bookseller. Conmises consumed by fire; which was no sooner trast the acknowledged poems of Bymade known to Lord Byron, than he generously

ron with the authenticated productions sent him one hundred and fifty guineas! It has again been ascertained that the profits of some of Shakspeare,+ and his Lordship will of his productions have been applied to the uses of literary men, under circumstances of pecumiary difficulty. A person who has industriously

editor of the Monthly Magazine goes endeavoured to depreciate Lord Byron's charac. ter by reports as false as they are feeble, in submitting to the editor of a well-known periodical, the sketch of a production intended for inser

+ Mr. Bowdler, by his “ Family Shakspeare, tion in his miscellany, inadvertently inclosed in which the "obscenities” are expunged, dewith it the copy of a letter addressed to the noble serves the gratitude of the community. But the Lord, replete with the most humble acknowledg fact of such a work being executed, and yet of ments of pecuniary assistance to a conSIDERABLE the common edition being generally used in EXTENT! The original application seems to have families, shows that there is some foundation been made under very necessitous circumstan- for Lord Byron's observation on the charges ces." The length of this note precludes my made against him for immorality, adding many more which could easily be addu

“ There was a time when all this cant ced; but ex his, disce omnes. “ Charity covereth | Would bave produced remarks, which now it a multitude of sins."




Vindication of Lord Byron's Poetry.


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cantos of Don Juan with the works of "Who hath not prov'd how feebly words essay

| To fix one spark of Beauty's heavenly ray?
Who doth not feel, until his failing sight

Faints into dinness with its own delight, ded and disgusting a point of view as

His changing cheek, his sinking heart confess

The inigbt--the majesty of loveliness? the latter laboured to place it in; yet Such was Zuleika-such around her shone he was a dignitary of the church, and

The nameless charms unmark'd by her alone;

The light of love, the purity of grace, of unimpeached character. And why

na way The mind the music breathing from her face.

The heart whose softness harmonized the Those who are acquainted with his


| And oh! that eye was in itself a soul!" predecessors in this vineyard, will be

Bride of Abydos. inclined to think that he has not exerted his powers in a very outrageous

Yourlimits, Sir, have long since warnmanner.”

ed me to desist. I will therefore only As a proof that I have not too highly I refer to Lord Byron's exquisite Hebrew estimated Lord Byron's poetry, I

Melodies; Napoleon's Farewell; The submit the following extracts to the

Ode, commencing “Oh shame to thee, notice of your readers. And, first,

land of the Gaul;" the brilliant burnlook at his exquisite delineation of

ing Ode on the Star of the Legion of Henry Kirke White.

Honour; and the beautiful song begin

ning “Maid of Athens, ere we part.” “Unhappy White! while life was in its spring, I conclude these extracts by giving And thy young muse just waved her joyous wing,

one of his Lordship's minor poems. The spoiler swept that soaring lyre auay Which else had sounded an immortal lay. Oh what a noble heart was here undone, When science' self destroyed her far'rite son!

“ Bright be the place of thy soul ! 'Twas thine own genius gave the fatal blow

No lovelier spirit than thine And belp'd to plant the wound that laid thee

E'er burst from its mortal covtrol low.

In the orbs of tbe blessed to shine. Thns the struck eagle stretch'd upon the plai

On earth thou wert all but divine, No more througb rolling clouds to soar again,

As thy soul shall immortally be; Viewed his own feather in the fatal dart,

And our sorrow may cease to repine, And wing'd the shaft that quiver'd in his

When we know that thy God is with thee. heart;

Light be the turf of thy tomb! Keen were bis pangs, but keener far to feel

May its verdure like emeralds be: He nurs'd the pinion which impell'd the steel;

There should not be the shadow of gloom While the same plumage that had warm'd his

Inaught that reminds us of thee. nest

Young flowers and an evergreen tree Drank the last life-drop of his bleeding breast."

May spring from the spot of thy rest : English Bards and Scotch Reviewers. But not cypress nor yew let us see,

For, why should we mourn for the blest?" His Lordship's verses on the Death of the Princess Charlotte are too long

Now, Mr. Editor, I would triumph.

"8 | antly ask, Can such a writerdecline" to quote: the following portion of them

em in the estimation of those “ whose ap.

int1 will evince their excellence.

probation is worth having?" Oh no! “ Hark! forth from the abyss a voice proceeds,

A long, low, distant murmur of dread sound,
Such as arises when a nation bleeds
With some deep and immedicable wound.

“His words are sparks of immortality." Through storm and darkness, yawns tbe rending ground,

The Edinburgh Review first assailed The gulf is thick with phantoms; but the chief Seems royal still, though with her head discrown'd,

the amende honorable. From G. Jo's Aud pale, but lovely, with maternal grief She clasps a babe, to whom hier heart yields

good sense and candour, I expect no relief.

that he will “ go, and do likewise.” Scion of chiefs and monarchs! where art thou ? I trust I have now proved, Sir, that

Fond hope of many nations, art thou dead!
Could not the grave forget thee, and lay low " Wordsworth's poems and his followers,

like Some less majestic, less beloved head 1

Joannah Southcote's Shiloh and ber sect, Those who weep not for kings shall weep for Are things which in this century don't strike thee!”

The public mind: so few are the elect; Childe Harold, Canto IV. And the new births of both their stale virgin.

ities The following lines on Female Have proved but dropsies, taken for divinities." Beauty, I confidently submit to the While, on the contrary, Lord Byron approbation of every admirer of that “ possesses not only the poetry sex which heightens all man's joys, I nobility, but the NOBILITY OF alleviates all his sorrows, and throws | POETRY.”. a celestial halo over "this visible diur

ARISTARCHUS nal sphere."

October 2, 1821.





EDWIN AND MARY. Edwin and Mary, like Paul and Virginia, were often nursed on the same breast :. like them too, their love grew with their yearsThey had but one heart and one hope, and that hope was sacred, but it was doomed never to be realized.

Mary was an angel, at least he thought so. Edwin was her equal every way but in fortune, a disparity which her parents urged against their union.

To remove the objection, Edwin turned his eye to India, and, big with the hope of a speedy return, left his dear Mary. But in passing into another clime, he passed into another world. The news of Edwin's death was the date of Mary's misery-reason overpowered, ceased to reign. Dead to the world and all its ties, she clung to solitude. Thus the Maniac is now ushered in, on one of those rocks which guard the sea-girt coasts of Caledonia. A sad example of that destiny which too often awaits the most amiable of passions and the best of hearts.

Now sleep, thy only dear solace,
Has spread his wings around thy face,
While o'er thee hov'ring spirits eye,
And drop the tear of sympathy.

Still, fancy 'wakes, in horror drest-
Now agitates thy weary breast,
I see alarm, with rapid pace,
Now shooting o'er thy pallid face-
I see the dire effects of woe-
The clenching hand--the panting throe
Convulsive start-and dismal scream,
Of nature, shudd'ring at thy dream.

Then from her visions of despair,
She sprung with wild dishevell’d hair,
And face that spoke a world of care.
And then in transport wild carest
Her Edwin's image at her breast-
That image Edwin gave, so true, ..
When he to Mary, said, “ Adieu.”-
And aye since he afar was borne,
The token, she, of love, had worn
Of earth her all-she wish'd no more
But kiss'd it madly, o'er and o’er.

And as she view'd the floating past
Her ray of joy was overcast-
She rolled aloft her maniac-eye,
And shriek'd aloud, in dismal cry,
“ O Edwin, love, I see thy shroud
That beckons me from yonder cloud
Oh yes I see before my eye,
Thy spirit rising to the sky,
Oh, my Edwin, do not fly
From thy Mary-It is I.”

With that she forward rapid prest,
To clasp his spirit to her breast.
And, horror! quick to end her woe,
Plung’d in the foaming gulph below!
Her fall re-echoed on the shore
She rose to sink, and sank to rise no more!

DOWNS. Camden, May 15, 1821.


SOUND, my Mary, be thy sleep,
For thy woes my feelings weep;
Sore it grieves me, seeing now
Sorrow stamp'd upon thy brow.-
Cares unceasing, thee pursue,
Fraught with bitter ills to you.

Once in maiden pride you shone,
Now thy pillow is of stone;
Once propitions fortune smil'd,
But now sorrow's hapless child;
Once thy parents' dear delight.
Now fled for ever from their sight.
And once to thee, the sportive wile,
The eye of joy--the angel's smile-
And ev'ry grace did thee adorn,
Fair as the blushing face of morn.

Now gone, alas ! thy former ease,
Well-form'd the eye, the soul to please
Thy feature, void of early grace-
The sunken eye—the pallid face,
Now speak the ruin of that mind,
Where joy heav'd and virtue shin'd.

Now oft, amid the horrid roar
Of water, dashing on the shore,
Howling winds, and piercing cries,
Mary for her Edwin sighs.
Edwin once her only joy-
Once her dearest, darling boy,
On whose bosom oft she hung,
To catch each accent of his tongue,
To her all sweetness as it sung,
Her Edwin's love to Mary.

But now alone--her Edwin goneShe shrieks her woe in plaintive tone.

Life's now thy bane-of every hour, The blessings down no longer pour Thy balm of life, for ever fied Thy joy-thy Edwin, now is dead.

MR. EDITOR, Sir, I take the liberty of forwarding to you the accompanying verses; because I am convinced that their insertion in the Imperial Magazine will please many of your intelligent readers: an object you not only earnestly | desire, but one at which you success| fully aim. The lines were written by a lady, who resided for some years in the grand capital of the Roman world, when comparing on the spot “Pyraneze's Views of Rome' with their original. They surely evince much clearness of thought, and no inconsiderable quantum of mind. I have the honour to be, &c.

M. F. S.

PYRANEZE'S VIEWS OF ROME. Far out of truth and reason's sight,

With outstretch'd wing and gaudy plume, See fancy take her airy flight

Through Pyrancze's Views of Rome.

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