1824 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

Phemius, "To the Right Honourable Lord Byron" Morning Post (27 March 1824).



Full oft the vulgar see more clear
Than those within an higher sphere.

Erewhile a certain famous Poet
With far more wit than grace to show it,
Approached, in mental vision nigh
The Paradise above the sky:
There heard, or seemed to hear, a KING
The Hundredth Psalm in solo sing—
The grateful voice of one received
To Bliss: — from earth, who late reliev'd,
And mingling with the sacred throng,
Then sung that joy-inspired song.

This Bard, (who many Bards excels),
As, of himself, this story tells;
The truth whereof may some dispute;
Because, with him, such views not suit;
Because, his spleenful mind despises
That good, which ev'ry wise man prizes;
And, therefore, such improper deem
For him, this unbefitting theme.

But, for a moment, grant it true,
Of Paradise he caught a view;
Should such a scene to him return,
Let him take heed, and wisdom learn:
Let him no more apply his skill
To please his wayward fancy's will:
Let him no more his wit employ,
To blight the hope of future joy;
But there seek entrance to obtain,
While yet that search may not prove vain.
Let him this friendly hint attend,
His sentiments and verses mend:
So shall he gain deserv'd applause,
And the keen eye discern no flaws.