1809 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Hayley

Lord Byron, in English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (1809); Poetical Works, ed. E. H. Coleridge (1898-1904) 1:321-22 & n.



Behold — Ye Tarts! — one moment spare the text!—
HAYLEY'S last work, and worst — until his next;
Whether he spin poor couplets into plays,
Or damn the dead with purgatorial praise,
His style in youth or age is still the same,
For ever feeble and for ever tame.
Triumphant first see "Temper's Triumphs" shine!
At least I'm sure they triumphed over mine.
Of "Music's Triumphs," all who read may swear
That luckless Music never triumph'd there.

Hayley's two most notorious verse productions are Triumphs of Temper and The Triumph of Music. He has also written much Comedy in rhyme, Epistles, etc., etc. As he is rather an elegant writer of notes and biography, let us recommend POPE'S advice to WYCHERLEY to Mr. H.'s consideration, viz., "to convert poetry into prose," which may be easily done by taking away the final syllable of each couplet.