1822 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Allan Cunningham

James Harley, in The Press, or Literary Chit-Chat. A Satire (1822) 38 &n.



A tribe of cockneys, led, I thought, by one*
Who had a "flonkie verd" and, such a lamp!
It beat each coruscation of each swamp,
Each gas-light, whether bat's-wing or argand,
Or e'en the lamp that made Aladdin grand!
One or two strangers from the country fought
With this bright band from Farringdon Without,
But seem'd half conscious of a sense of guilt
At leaguing thus beneath the azure kilt.
One from the border-land of war and song
Seem'd by his tone and aspect to belong;
His friend appear'd of England's milder clime,
Uncouth his aspect, but well-made his rhime.
Often the trainbands pointed to this pair,
And said by these we hope some fame to share.

* The London Magazine is a most unequal work, containing a few pieces of real excellence amidst the vilest trash, insomuch that I am induced to presume that the selection of articles from the contributors' box is left to the printer's devil, or the under-porter of Messers. Hessey and Taylor. It is reported, (for I am not behind the curtain), that Barry Cornwall has a share in its editorship, or at least is a frequent contributor to its pages. For an elucidation of line 569, I refer the reader to a passage in one of the essays contained in the second volume of Hazlitt's Table Talk. The elaboratory where the London Magazine is concocted is, I believe, in the ward of Farringdon Without, and, this being the case, it is presumed the epithet Train-bands is not inappropriate. — Allan Cunninghame and John Clare, also, I am informed, contribute to its pages. Of the one it may be said that he is a real poet — of the other, a neat stitcher together of rhimes, and certainly, considering circumstances, a surprising man.