1830 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

Henry Francis Cary, 1830 ca.; Memoir of the Rev. Henry Francis Cary (1847) 2:305.



In order to enjoy Byron, the lover of poetry must forget the harmonies of Spenser and Milton and Dryden; and suffer him, if possible, to enter the mind without passing through the medium of the ear; otherwise the effect is like that of good music played on a jarring instrument by an unskilful performer. Those who are insensible to the dissonance may be pleased, but should not wonder that others cannot partake of the pleasure. He must be read for the novelty and vigour of the sentiments alone.