1819 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Walter Scott

Stella, "Triangulum Major, a Modern Constellation" Morning Chronicle (18 March 1819).



Poets were scarce in former ages,
At least so thought our ancient Sages.
"Three Poets in three DISTANT ages born,
Greece, Italy and England did adorn!"
But in this age of worth and wit,
All-bounteous nature has thought fit
To bless us with three Bards at once,
To whom each Ancient seems a dunce.—
Scarce HOMER'S self can stand his ground,
Where BYRON, SCOTT and MOORE are found;
And, least these Sons of Fire should quarrel
For Beauty's smile, or Phoebus' laurel,
Kind Nature, to prevent a wrangle,
Has placed them in a fair triangle;
Which plan appears most right to me,
As wit should always pointed be.
The northern point a minstrel guards
Whom Scotia hails the first of Bards;—
The western point, green Erin's shore,
Enraptured hails the name of MOORE;—
The southern point is Albion's Isle,
Where BYRON wooes the Muse's smile,
With load-star eyes, and song divine,
Bright favourite of the dark-hair'd nine!

There are, who gazing on the sky
Some bright triangles can descry,
Well pleased, amidst the gems of night,
Their fancy wings its airy flight:
But let such wonderers gaze afar—
Give me but an earth-treading star,
Such as adorns my constellation,
I'll envy not their elevation;
But rest contented with my station,
The happiest she in all the nation!