1814 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Walter Scott

George Daniel, in The Modern Dunciad (1814; 1815) 56-57.



F. To SCOTT you'll grant some portion of renown;
The man has pleas'd—

P. Aye, surfeited the town.—
How versatile his talents! full of whim:—
Bard, courtier, critic, all combin'd in him;
And much I wish that he had spar'd his pains
To edit Swift, and mangle Dryden's strains.
Stifled with praise — and such, as I can say,
I never gain'd, and hope I never may;
His careless muse neglects a nobler aim,
And looks not to posterity for fame.
Some deep romantic scene, where mould'ring time
Has mark'd each tow'r and battlement sublime;
Where barbarous mirth, revenge, and feudal rage
Shew the rude manners of a former age;
Romances, by tradition only known,
He paints with life and vigour all his own.