1829 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

Mary Howitt to Zilla Wiffen Watts, 16 November 1829; in Alaric Alfred Watts, Alaric Watts, a Narrative of his Life, by his Son (1884) 2:4.



I read the old ballads till my soul is imbued through and through with their spirit. Then Shakespeare, and Milton, and Wordsworth, till I am above the earth, and I seem to breathe an atmosphere of pure poetry, and all lighter moods are vanity. Nay, I dare to confess to thee that Shelley is a great favourite. With ten thousand faults, he has a glorious mind. Its very errors were the excess of virtues! Dost thou know his odes to Liberty, to the Skylark, and to the West Wind? Lord Byron the same. The last cantos of Childe Harold, Cain, and some other of his dramatic works, are our favourites.