1809 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir William Jones

Walter Savage Landor to Robert Southey, 26 November 1809; Forster, Landor, a Biography (1869) 152.



I have read everything Oriental I could lay my hands on, and everything good may be comprised in thirty or forty lines. There is a prodigious deal of puckering and flouncing and spangles, but nothing fresh, nothing graceful, nothing standing straight upwards or moving straight forwards on its feet. I would rather have written the worst page in the Odyssea than all the stuff Sir William Jones makes such a pother and palaver on; yet what volumes would it fill! what libraries would it suffocate! God forbid that I should ever be drowned in any of these butts of malmsey! It is better to describe a girl getting a tumble over a skipping-rope made of a wreath of flowers.