1821 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Walter Scott

Mother Goose, "Recipe to make a Modern Novel" Morning Post (28 February 1821).



Take a preaching old gypsey,
Or Scotchwoman, tipsey;
A fierce, and wild man,
The head of a clan;
A girl, or a boy,
So you have but a Roy;
A foundling that's lost,
By an old woman crost;
Old sayings, old saws,
Ferocious outlaws,
Some murd'rous banditti,
Though savage, yet witty;
And make them all chime,
As in good Pantomime;
For write what you will,
The same characters, still
Must appear on the stage,
Or you wont be the rage.

If these rules you pursue,
Believe I speak true,
Your fame and renown,
At the end of each year,
Shall ever appear
To astonish the Town.