1820 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Southey

David Carey, in "The Mansion of the Poets" Beauties of the Modern Poets (1820) xix-xx.



After him [Thomas Moore], methought, came a personage of grave and somewhat dejected countenance. He recited a piece of his poetry, which breathed a strong spirit of liberty and hostility to the authority of kingly government; but suddenly stopping short, he bit his lip, and appeared as if he wished to retract his words; it was, however, too late. He then described with much felicity the revolting and sanguinary ceremonies enjoined by the religion of Hindostan; the last struggles of the Goths in Spain, and the heroine of France. He concluded by singing the praises of kings, like those who are habituated to tune their harps to strains of flattering eulogy, within the precincts of a court. He appeared already decorated with the laureate wreath, and therefore could claim very few further distinctions which the judges had to confer. Having ended his Carmen Triumphale, he was permitted to retire with this observation, — "that the place which he should hold in the temple of fame should be left to posterity." It was SOUTHEY.