1831 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

Samuel Egerton Brydges, in Modern Aristocracy (1831) 23.



To be irregular by rule or design, is an absurdity of the worst sort. The common reader is apt to mistake extravagance and contortion for strength and invention. Lord Byron had a genius peculiar to himself; he is not a model to follow: — his imitators will never succeed. He had sometimes a concentered force, — a burning fire, — which in him was native! The false inspiration of others, who would catch his spirit and his tones, is disgusting: and as for those narrow and silly people, who have no ear but for one sort of music, a true and enlarged taste scorns to argue with them.