1819 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Henry James Pye

Robert Southey to G. C. Bedford, 10 February 1819; Selected Letters (1850) 3:122.



A New Year's ode should always relate to public circumstances; and a Birth Day one to the person or family of the Prince to whom it is addressed. When the latter comes upon me, I shall lower the tone of the subject. As long as I can help it, I will never suffer any of these compositions to get abroad.... If I give the composer more trouble than poor Pye did, I am sorry for it; but I can no more write like Mr. Pye, than Mr. Pye could write like me. The Pye crust and mine were not made of the same materials. But I suppose there can be no more difficulty in fitting my rhythm to the fiddle, than there is setting an anthem.