1822 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Byron

Labienus, "On Lord Byron and his Adversaries" The Literary Chronicle 4 (8 June 1822) 365.



When crafty Daedalus, thro' the realms of light,
Fearless, confiding in his peerless art,
O'er cloud-topt mountains bent his lofty flight,
And bade the aery billows yielding part;
Swiftly and safe he soared, nor aught he cared
What humble mortals thought, how creeping reptiles stared.

Thus, with poetic genius and fire,
On Fancy's pinions, high above the skies,
We see Lord Byron's sonorous muse aspire,
While petty insect-scribblers he defies;
They burn with envy, burst with eunuch spite,
And, as they cannot match, attempt t' arraign his flight.

In vain they 'tempt, for, in ethereal strains,
The bard records what angels might peruse;
Seraphic ardour fills his swelling veins,
Themselves admire, who boldly dare accuse.
But careless he what reptiles think below,
Bids higher, bolder still his deathless accents flow.