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Each spurs his jaded Pegasus apace, .
And Rhyme and Blank maintain an equal race; 140

Sonnets on sonnets crowd, and ode on ode;
And Tales of Terror jostle on the road;

Immeasurable measures move along,

For simpering Folly loves a varied song,
To strange mysterious Dullness still the friend,
Admires the strain she cannot comprehend.
Thus Lays of Minstrels *-may they be the last!
On half-strung harps whine mournful to the blast,

* See the “ Lay of the Last Minstrel,” passim. Never was any plan so incongruous and absurd as the ground-work of this production. The entrance of Thunder and Lightning prologuising to Bayes' Tragedy, un, fortunately takes away the merit of originality from the dialogue between Messieurs the Spirits of Flood and Fell in the first canto. Then we have the amiable William of Deloraine, “ a stark moss-trooper,” videlicet, a happy compound of poacher, sheep-stealer, and highwayman. The propriety of his magical lady's injunction not to read can

150

While mountain spirits prate to river sprites,
That dames may listen to the sound at nights;
And goblin brats of Gilpin Horner's brood
Decoy young Border-nobles through the wood,

only be equalled by his candid acknowledgment of his independence of the trammels of spelling, although, to use his own elegant phrase, " 'twas his neck-verse at hairibee,” i, e, the gallows.

The biography of Gilpin Horner, and the marvellous pedestrian page, who travelled twice as fast as his master's horse, without the aid of seven leagued boots, are chef d'oeuvres in the improvement of taste. For incident we have the invisible, but by no means sparing, box on the ear bestowed on the page, and the entrance of a Knight and Charger into the castle, under the very natural disguise of a wain of hay. Marmion, the hero of the latter romance, is exactly what William of Deloraine wonld have been, had he been able to read and write. The Poem was manufactured for Messrs. ConstablE, MURRAY, and MILLER, worshipful Booksellers, in consideration of the receipt of a sum of money, and fruly, considering the inspiration, it is a very creditable production. If Mr. Scott will write for hire, let him do his best for his paymasters, but not disgrace his genius, which is undoubtedly great, by a repetition of black letter Ballad imitations.

And skip at every step, Lord knows how high,
And frighten foolish babes, the Lord knows why,
While high-born ladies, in their magic cell,
Forbidding Knights to read who cannot spell,
Dispatch a courier to a wizard's grave,
And fight with honest men to shield a knave.

Next view in state, proud prancing on his roan, The golden-crested haughty Marmion, 160 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 grcat and base, And think'st thou, Scott! by vain conceit perchance, On public taste to foist thy stale romance, 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 : 180 While Milton, DRYDEN, Pope, alike forgot, Resign their hallow'd Bays to Walter Scott.

The time has been, when yet the Muse was young, When Homer swept the lyre, and Maro sung,

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*“Good night to Marmion”--the pathetic and also prophetic exclamation of HENRY BLOU NT, Esquire, on the death of honest Marmion.

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An Epic scarce ten centuries could claim,
While awe-struck nations hailed the magic name:
The work of each immortal Bard appears
The single wonder of a thousand years *.
Empires have mouldered from the face of earth,
Tongues have expired with those who gave them
birth,

190
Without the glory such a strain can give,
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 !

* 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 ?

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