1822 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

Anonymous, "Childe Harold to his Defender" Morning Post (18 February 1822).



Great Chronicler! my gratitude is due
To one, who has so excellent a knack,
Of showing friendship as I find in you,
Such matchless skill to answer an attack.

To let abuse be plentifully hurl'd
On one I loath'd, became your pious care;
And then his answer keeping from the world,
Was certainly as kind to me as fair.

Then sneering at that answer thus suppressed,
Magnanimously outraged common sense,
But witless doggrel marred so rich a jest,
And neutralised your valiant impudence.

But when the reprobation of my CAIN,
From hatred of Religion and the Laws,
Prevailed on you, Knight errant-like again,
Badly to take the cudgels in my cause.

Why when supporting me as one ill-used,
Did you absurdly let it be inferred,
That while my foe you stupidly abused,
You could not for my poem say one word?

This tells the world it is so rich in vice,
Of flagrant blasphemy so very full,
You could not touch it through not over nice,
Witness the recent show up in John Bull.

That you are forced to leave my work alone,
You who in dirty work so well succeed,
Now lauding COBBETT, and now puffing HONE,
Proclaims Cain infamously gross indeed.

I can bear scorn from others, but to be
Thus treated by a blockhead who defends,
Makes me say, "Leave my enemies to me,
But, Satan! save thy votary from such friends!"