1858 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Walter Savage Landor, 1858; Forster, Landor, a Biography (1869) 641-42.



I have been looking into the life of Shelley. I could not help smiling at Shelley's praise of me, and at his Hogg's tossing up Gebir into the fire. Poor Shelley got into a scrape about me with Byron. Yet, ardent as he was in my favor, I refused his proffered visit. His conduct towards his first wife had made me distrustful of him. Yet, with perhaps the single exception of Burns, he and Keats were inspired with a stronger spirit of poetry than any other poets since Milton. I sometimes fancy that Elizabeth Barrett Browning comes next. But I must confess I turn more frequently to Goldsmith. A very little of what is strange estranges me. I hate new dresses, though they fit close. Never tell me again of any one who either praises or dispraises me. I know what I am. Shelley and Southey know it also. When poets extol a poet, be sure it is not too highly.