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Each spurs his jaded Pegasus apace, .
Sonnets on sonnets crowd, and ode on ode;
Immeasurable measures move along,
For simpering Folly loves a varied song,
* 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
While mountain spirits prate to river sprites,
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,
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,
Low may they sink to merited contempt,
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,
*“Good night to Marmion”--the pathetic and also prophetic exclamation of HENRY BLOU NT, Esquire, on the death of honest Marmion.
An Epic scarce ten centuries could claim,
* 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 ?