1820 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Fitz-Greene Halleck

Rob Raven, "To Mr. Croaker, of New York" National Recorder [Philadelphia] 3 (4 March 1820) 160.



I took up little "Fanny," t' other day,
And with a deal of pleasure read it through—
And now, dear Sir, I feel concern'd to say,
That in a friendly manner, "entre nous,"
That tho' 'tis clear it was by genius penn'd,
It seems a thing most truly without end.

It is a pretty insect, with a sting
Of much acuteness — and its fluttering shows
That in the hive from whence it first took wing,
There lives more sweetness than the vain world knows.
You have full long amus'd us with your bees,
Now let us have some honey, if you please.

And "si vous plait," I would just recommend,
That you should do more justice to yourself,
And write us something that should have an end,
And should not lead you to an auction shelf,—
That honoured state, where, "in terrorem," lay
The rhymesters and ephemera of the day.

Paulding has only wrought himself abuse,
And brought some odium on the country too,
I want you to come forward, and produce
Something both worthy of the Muse and you;
And let the transatlantic wits be shown,
Castalian dews are not for them alone.

Thou hast a soul of melody — its tones
Are often heard in thy erratic flight,
And Fancy ever and anon enthrones
Thy glowing spirit in her bowers of light—
O! there preserve thy reign — in beauty soar,
And, like the sky-lark, thence thy music pour.

Go to thy native glens — thy mountain scenes—
And there seek inspiration — they shall tell,
Where Nature o'er her silent glory leans,
The fragrance and the might of feeling dwell.
There breathe in air thy "native wood-notes wild,"
And be, what thou may'st be, the Muse's favour'd child!
February 10.
From Poulson's American Daily Advertiser.