1819 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Southey

Lord Byron, Dedication to Don Juan (1819); Strachey, Poets on Poets (1894) 217-18.



Bob Southey! You're a poet — Poet Laureate,
And representative of all the race,
Although 'tis true you turn'd a Tory at
Last — yours has lately been a common case,—
And now, my Epic Renegade! what are ye at?
With all the Lakers, in and out of place?
A nest of tuneful persons, to my eye
Like "four-and-twenty-Blackbirds in a pye;
Which pye being open'd they began to sing"
(This old song and new simile holds good),
"A dainty dish to set before the King,"
Or Regent, who admires such kind of food....