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Torn from thy parent bird to form a pen,
Inspires our path, though full of thorns, is plain; Smooth be the verse, and easy be the strain.
When Vice triumphant holds her sovereign sway, Obeyed by all who nought beside obey; When Folly, frequent harbinger of crime, Bedecks her cap with bells of every clime; When knaves and fools combined o'er all prevail, And weigh their justice in a golden scale;
* Cid Hamet Benengeli promises repose to his pen, in the last chapter of Don Quixote. Oh! that our voluminous gentry would follow the example of Cid Hamet Benengeli.
t["This must have been written in the spirit of prophecy." -Byron, 1816.]
E'en then the boldest start from public sneers,
And shrink from ridicule, though not from law.
Such is the force of wit! but not belong
I too can scrawl, and once upon a time
* This ingenious youth is mentioned more particularly, with his production, in another place.
† In the Edinburgh Review. -["He's a very good fellow;
Moved by the great example, I pursue
The self-same road, but make my own review:
A man must serve his time to every trade
Shrink not from blasphemy, 't will pass for wit;
And shall we own such judgment? no Seek roses in December-ice in June; Hope constancy in wind, or corn in chaff; Believe a woman or an epitaph,
- as soon
Or any other thing that's false, before
and, except his mother and sister, the best of the set, to my mind."- Byron, 1816.]
Messrs. Jeffrey and Lambe are the alpha and omega, the
To these young tyrants,* by themselves misplaced,
To these, when authors bend in humble awe,
Then should you ask me,† why I venture o'er The path which Pope and Gifford trod before; If not yet sickened, you can still proceed:
Go on; my rhyme will tell you as you read. "But hold!" exclaims a friend, "here's some neglect:
This-that- and t' other line seem incorrect." What then? the self-same blunder Pope has got, And careless Dryden—“Ay, but Pye has not:"
first and last of the Edinburgh Review; the others are mentioned hereafter.
["This was not just. Neither the heart nor the head of these gentlemen are at all what they are here represented. At the time this was written, I was personally unacquainted with either."- Byron, 1816.]
*IMIT. "Stulta est Clementia, cum tot ubique
-occurras perituræ parcere charta."-Juv. Sat. I. IMIT. "Cur tamen hoc libeat potius decurrere campo Per quem magnus equos Auruncæ flexit alumnus: Si vacat, et placidi rationem admittitis, edam."
Juv. Sat. I.
Indeed! 'tis granted, faith! but what care I?
Better to err with Pope, than shine with Pye.
Time was, ere yet in these degenerate days Ignoble themes obtained mistaken praise,
* [The first edition of the Satire opened with this line, and Byron's original intention was to prefix the following —
'The poet considereth times past, and their poesy-makes a sudden transition to times present-is incensed against bookmakers-revileth Walter Scott for cupidity and ballad-mongering, with notable remarks on Master Southey-complaineth that Master Southey hath inflicted three poems, epic and otherwise, on the public — inveigheth against William Wordsworth, but laudeth Mister Coleridge and his elegy on a young ass- -is disposed to vituperate Mr. Lewis-and greatly rebuketh Thomas Little (the late) and the Lord Strangford-recommendeth Mr. Hayley to turn his attention to prose—and exhorteth the Moravians to glorify Mr. Grahame-sympathizeth with the Reverend - Bowles-and deploreth the melancholy fate of James Montgomery-breaketh out into invective against the Edinburgh Reviewers — calleth them hard names, harpies and the like-apostrophizeth Jeffrey, and prophesieth. — Episode of Jeffrey and Moore, their jeopardy and deliverance; portents on the morn of the combat; the Tweed, Tolbooth, Frith of Forth, severally shocked; descent of a goddess to save Jeffrey; incorporation of the bullets with his sinciput and occiput.-Edinburgh Reviewers en masse. - Lord Aberdeen, Herbert, Scott, Hallam, Pillans, Lambe, Sydney Smith, Brougham, etc. — The Lord Holland applauded for dinners and translations. - The Drama; Skeffington, Hook, Reynolds, Kenney, Cherry, etc. Sheridan, Colman, and Cumberland called upon to write. -Return to poesy-scribblers of all sorts - lords sometimes rhyme; much better not - Hafiz, Rosa Matilda, and X. Y. Z. — Rogers, Campbell, Gifford, etc. true poets - Translators of the Greek Anthology Crabbe Darwin's style - Cambridge- Seatonian Prize- Smythe -Hodgson - Oxford - Richards - Poeta loquitur - Conclusion."]