1822 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Jeremiah Holmes Wiffen

James Harley, in The Press, or Literary Chit-Chat. A Satire (1822) 31-32 &n.



HOCUS.
Behold two bards in garb and gait antique
Strike the loud chords with fingers far from weak;
Barton and Wiffen. In this rhiming age*
E'en solemn Quakers dare the elder's rage;
The accents of the lyre have gain'd at last
The shade repulsive of their beavers vast.
Wiffen, though imitator, sweetly sings,
And beauties fresh o'er Ampthil's forests flings;
Barton hath struck a more aspiring lyre,
And woos at once Moore's softness and Gray's fire;
May they in part unstarch those solemn sons
Who seem constructed like automatons!

JOCUS.
The wish I second: though I much commend
The calculating coldness of a friend,
Yet I confess his vest and air uncouth
Too much excite the smiles and jeers of youth.

* Wiffen's Aonian Hours is a pleasing imitation of the milder parts of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. Some of the odes of Bernard Barton (one "To the Gallic Eagle," in particular) are worthy of being mentioned along with those of the authors I have named, and this is no mean praise.