1814 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

George Daniel, in The Modern Dunciad (1814; 1815) 58-59.



The town is pleas'd when BYRON will rehearse,
And finds a thousand beauties in his verse;
So fix'd his fame — that write whate'er he will,
The patient public must admire it still;
Yes, — though bereft of half his force and fire,
They still must read — and, dozing, must admire;
While you and I, who stick to common sense,
To genius, taste, and wit, have no pretence.
Throughout the whole we toil to understand;
Where'er we tread — 'tis strange, 'tis foreign land;
Nay, half the thoughts and language of the strain
Require a glossary to make them plain.
Beauties there are, which candour bids me own,
Atone for these — for more than these atone:—
Beauties — which e'en the coldest must admire—
Quick, high-wrought passion — true poetic fire—
Bold, energetic language — thoughts sublime—
And all the artful cadences of rhyme.