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While high-born ladies, in their magic cell,iudě
Forbidding knights to read who cannot spell, bas
Dispatch a courier to a wizard's grave,

And fight with honest men, to shield a knave. 65
Next in view in state, proud prancing on his roan,
The golden-crested haughty Marmion, 0160
Now forging scrolls, now foremost in the fight,......
Not quite a felon, yet but half a knight;
The gibbet or the field prepared to grace,
A mighty mixture of the great and base.
And think'st thou, Scorr! by vain conceit, per
chance,

On public taste to foist thy stale romance,

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Though MURRAY, with his MILLER, may combine
To yield thy muse just half-a-crown per line?
No! when the sons of song descend to trade,
Their bays are sear, their former laurels fade. 170
Let such forego the poet's sacred name,

Who rack their brains for lucre, not for fame:
Low may they sink to merited contempt,
And scorn remunerate the mean attempt!
Such be their meed, such still the just reward
Of prostituted muse and hireling bard!
For this we spurn Apollo's venal son,
And bid a long good night to Marmion.'*

These are the themes that claim our plaudits now;
These are the bards to whom the muse must bow:
While MILTON, DRYDEN, POPE, alike forgot,
Resign their hallowed bays to WALTER SCOTT.
The time has been, when yet the muse was young,
When HOMER swept the lyre, and MARO sung,
An epic scarce ten centuries could claim,
While awe-struck nations hailed the magic name:

Good night to Marmion' the pathetic and also prophetic exclamation of Henry Blount, Esq. on the death of honest Marmion..

The work of each immortal bard appears 5 sovié The single wonder of a thousand years.❤

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Empires have mouldered from the face of earth," Tongues have expired with those who gave them birth,'

Without the glory such a strain can give,

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As even in ruin bids the language live.
Not so with us, though minor bards, content
On one great work a life of labour spent ;
With eagle pinion soaring to the skies,
Behold the ballad-monger SOUTHEY rise!
To him let CAMOENS, MILTON, TASSO, yield,
Whose annual strains, like armies, take the field,
First in the ranks see Joan of Arc advance, 199
The scourge of England, and the boast of France!
Though burnt by wicked BEDFORD for a witch,
Behold her statue placed in glory's niche;
Her fetters burst, and, just released from prison,
A virgin Phoenix from her ashes risen.
Next see tremendous Thalaba come on,t
Arabia's monstrous, wild, and wondrous son:
Domdaniel's dread destroyer, who o'erthrew
More mad magicians than the world e'er knew.
Immortal hero! all thy foes o'ercome,
Forever reign-the rival of Tom Thumb!

210

As the Odyssey is so closely connected with the story of the Iliad, they may almost be classed as one grand historical poem. In alluding to Milton and Tasso, we consider the Paradise Lost,' and Gierusalemme Liberata,' as their standard efforts, since neither the Jerusalem Conquered' of the Italian, nor the "Paradise Regained' of the English bard, obtained a proportionate celebrity to their former poems. Query: which of Mr. Southey's will survive?

Thalaba, Mr. Southey's second poem, is written in open defiance of precedent and poetry. Mr. S. wished to produce something novel, and succeeded to a miracle. Joan of Arc was. marvellous enough, but Thalaba was one of those poems 'which,' in the words of Porson, will be read when Homer and Virgil are forgotten, but not till then,

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Since startled metre fled before thy face, frow sɗT
Well wert thou doomed the last of all thy race! T
Well might triumphant Genii bear thee hence,m4
Illustrious conqueror of common sense!) poroT
Now, last and greatest, Madoc spreads his sails,
Cacique in Mexico, and Prince in Wales; rcdi
Tells us strange tales, as other travellers do,
More old than Mandeville's, and not so true.
Oh! SOUTHEY, SOUTHEY! cease thy varied

song!

A bard may chant too often and too long:
As thou art strong in verse, in mercy spare!

A

M

220

A fourth, alas! were more than we could bear. [77
But if, in spite of all the world can say,
Thou still wilt verseward plod thy weary way;
If still in Berkley ballads most uncivil,
Thou wilt devote old women to the devil,t
The babe unborn thy dread intent may rue:
'God help thee,' SOUTHEY, and thy readers
too.‡

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Next comes the dull disciple of thy school,
That mild apostate from poetic rule,
The simple WORDSWORTH, framer of a lay
As soft as evening in his favourite May;

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230

* We beg Mr. Southey's pardon: Madoc disdains the degraded title of epic.' See his preface. Why is epic degraded? and by whom? Certainly, the late romaunts of Masters Cottle, Laureat Pye, Ogilvy, Hole, and gentle Mistress Cowley, have not exalted the epic muse; but as Mr. Southey's poem 'disdains the appellation,' allow us to ask-Has he substituted any thing better in its stead? or must he be content to rival Sir Richard Blackmore, in the quantity as well as quality of his verse?

+ See, 'The Old Woman of Berkley,' a ballad by Mr. Southey, wherein an aged gentlewoman is carried away by Beelzebub, on a 'high trotting horse,'

The last line, God help thee,' is an evident plagiarism from the Anti-jacobin to Mr. Southey, on his dactylics

"God help thee, silly one.'-Poetry of the Anti-jacobin, P, 23.

Who warns his friend to shake off toil and trouble,
And quit his books, for fear of growing double;"
Who, both by precept and example, shews
That prose is verse, and verse is merely prose,
Convincing all, by demonstration plain,
Poetic souls delight in prose insane;
And Christmas stories, tortured into rhyme,
Contain the essence of the true sublime:
Thus when he tells the tale of Betty Foy,
The idiot mother of an idiot boy,'

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240

A moon-struck, silly lad, who lost his way,
And, like his bard, confounded night with day;t
So close on each pathetic part he dwells,
And each adventure so sublimely tells,
That all who view the idiot in his glory,"
Conceive the bard the hero of the story.

250

Shall gentle COLERIDGE pass unnoticed here,
To turgid ode, and tumid stanza dear?
Though themes of innocence amuse him best,
Yet still obscurity's a welcome guest.
If inspiration should her aid refuse
To him who takes a pixy for a muse,‡
Yet none in lofty numbers can surpass
The bard who soars to elogize an ass.

Lyrical Ballads, p. 4.--The Tables Turned.' Stanza 1.
Up, up, my friend, and clear your looks,
Why all this toil and trouble!

Up, up, my friend, and quit your books,
Or surely you'll grow double.'

+ Mr. W. in his preface, labours hard to prove that prose and verse are much the same, and certainly his precepts and practice are strictly conformable.

And thus to Betty's question he
Made answer, like a traveller bold,
The cock did crow to-whoo, to-whoo,
And the sun did shine so cold,' &c. &c.

+ Coleridge's Poems, p. 11. shire Fairies: p. 42, we have, p. 52,Lines to a Young Ass.'

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Lyrical Ballads, p. 129. Songs of the Pixies, i. e. DevonLines to a Young Lady :' and

How well the subject suits his noble mind-ls won W A fellow feeling makes us wondrous kind.?: 258

Oh! wonder-working LEWIS! monk, or bard,{}} Who fain would'st make Parnassus a church-yard! Lo! wreaths of yew, not laurel, bind thy brow, Thy muse a sprite, Apollo's sexton thou! Whether on ancient tombs thou tak'st thy stand, By gibb'ring spectres hailed, thy kindred band; Or tracest chaste descriptions on thy page, To please the females of our modest age; All hail, M.P.!* from whose infernal brain Thin-sheeted phantoms glide, a grisly train; At whose command, 'grim women' throng in crowds,

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And kings of fire, of water, and of clouds, 270 With small gray men,'-'wild yagers,' and what

not,

To crown with honour thee and WALTER SCOTT:)
Again all hail! if tales like thine, may please,
St. Luke alone can vanquish the disease;

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Even Satan's self with thee might dread to dwell, And in thy skull discern a deeper hell.

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Who, in soft guise, surrounded by a choir Of virgin's melting-not to Vesta's fire,

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With sparkling eyes, and cheek by passion flushed,
Strikes his wild lyre, whilst listening dames are
"Tis LITTLE! young Catullus of his day, [hushed?
As sweet, but as immoral in his lay!

Grieved to condemn, the muse must still be just,
Nor spare melodious advocates of lust.

Pure is the flame which o'er her altar burns;
From grosser incense with disgust she turns;
Yet, kind to youth, this expiation o'er,

She bids thee, 'mend thy line and sin no more.' *For every one knows little Matt's an M.P.?

See a poem to Mr. Lewis, in The Statesman,' supposed to be written by Mr. Jekyll.

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