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There is one further inducement for believing that poetry is merely the unfettered exercise of a peculiarly gifted mind, on a subject over which it feels it has pre-eminent mastery, for the purpose of producing pleasurable emotions. Upon this hypothesis, I cannot help thinking, are only to be explained the many confessedly strange judgments passed by poets upon the works of other poets. A poet loses his critical judgment, as a man who is intoxicated with one sort of wine, loses all nicety of perception as to the merits of another sort. He whose body and soul are saturated with one kind of excitement, cannot, while it lasts, enjoy or appreciate any other. This truth, that simpering but sagacious personage, the Tavern-waiter, well knows; and, accordingly, they, who think to crown their "set-to" of Port or Madeira with a magnum of Claret, are sure to get it bad. The poet has, by some means or other, become possessed with an ardent feeling of admiration for the beauties of the style and subject he has adopted. Whether his yearning arose out of "the force of blood," like that of mysterious relationships in romances, or whether it has worked itself as modern friendships do, by repeated acts of kindness into a permanent warmth, it matters not,-the overpowering predilection is there. It has become a passion, and, as all passions do, colours according to its liking. A poetical subject is not a mere topic of conversation to such a man, but food for strong excitement,-the mere men
tion of the word poetry instantaneous-
ANOTHER LADLEFUL FROM THE DEVIL'S PUNCH BOWL.
such suAs "Drouthiness" gave perlative satisfaction, (that is, to myself,) I proceed in the course which Nature has at last pointed out to me. Questionless, I was born a poet, and yet I never found it out till lately. However, I shall spur on Pegasus the faster, to make him fetch up for lost time. I ride light weight, and do not expect that I shall blow him, even if I should push him rather smartly. To say the truth, I possess a spur, which makes him lift his legs nimbly again whenever he slackens. (Allegory apart, this means Walker's Rhyming Dictionary, but it is a profound secret.) As I mean to make you profit
by my journeys, I send herewith the
My first poem is a parody on Sir William Jones's spirited paraphrase of a fragment of Alcæus. His contains a palaver about Liberty, and Rights, and the Fiend Discretion, while mine alludes to the less disputable good of a hearty appetite and a dinner to satisfy it.
I conceive myself to be a dab at a dedication, so I have clapt a label of this kind on the neck of each of the
lyrics herewith assigned over to you. I inscribe the one I have been speaking of to Dr Kitcheuer, to console him for the roasting he met with when you put him on the spit. Nay, you treated him, I should rather say, as you would a turkey's gizzard, that is, handed him out to be peppered and salted, and then grilled till he looked black in the face-a culinary process, which, as nobody knows better than the Doctor, is called devilling the muscular tid-bit. Doubtless, my little complimentary morsel will set things right again. Here, however, I had better confess before others point it out, that the verses of mine, which are to embed Dr K.'s name in the savory jelly of immortality, belong to that school of poetry which is connate with the school of prose of which the Doctor himself is the Didascalus. My erudite friend Brahdpahntschius Pottinger, father of the beautiful Maria, and erstwhile tutor and law-professor in the university of Gottingen, terms these literary sects, in his Latin correspondence with me, the "Schola Coxovine," equivalent to the Leg-ofmutton schools in our vernacular. It appears as if Bishop Hall did not approve of that which must have existed in his time; namely, the one whose labours came forth in metre; for he says in his satires
vertisement of all Lord Byron's works; and for drawing it up, Mr Murray ought, I am sure, to be grateful to me, for it will save him I know not what in paper and printing, as there is little doubt of its being got by heart by all those for whom he stitches up his announcements. I have secured this, by making my dedication so diffusive-it is to the reading public, that abstract Helluo librorum, to whom Mr Coleridge has such an antipathy; but Mr Murray has a fellow-feeling for the omnivorous monster, and supplies him with frequent supplies of papyrus, which is the fodder he delights in. Indeed, this pamphlet-perusing prosopopoeia the reading public aforesaid seems to squat like the night-mare on the chest of the author of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan; and I much wish that so powerful a somnoversifier would harrow up our souls with some of the dreams, (all probably ready tagged with rhyme for the press,) which that incubus has occasioned.
You will observe that this copy of verses is wholly composed in double rhymes, a feat on which I pride myself, for they are sometimes monstrously hard to find. With one line, which I was determined not to alter, and to whose finale I could find nothing correspondent in the compass of the language, I was so vexed, that in an unversifying and unguarded moment I was all but tempted to jump headlong into the Devil's Punch Bowl, that huge circular abyss in my neighbourhood-" and there an end!" But the catastrophe was prevented by a timely discovery of the required ending. A happy termination this; I may well call it so, both of the couplet, (which now jingles most musically) and of my perplexity, which thus evanished without a dive of some fathoms downwards. In some cases, however, the will must be taken for the deed, I fear; but you will be pleased, according to the dictum of a sage critic, to crush the syllables, if they are refractory, and then they will fit much better. If my Lord B. should make you the channel of communication, in returning his grateful thanks on this occasion, let no time be lost in conveying them to yours,
BLAISE FITZTRAVESTY. Ladle Court, near the Devil's Punch Bowls
Such hunger-starven trencher-poetry, O let it never live or timely die. This is by no means flattering; but at the same time it proves that the institution is somewhat venerable for its antiquity, and so is not, like the Cockney school, a mere mushroom of today-no, no, like mushroom-ketchup, it was known long and merry ago, as well as it is now. Indeed, I do not think that either eating to live or living to eat is a modern invention. As to the latter art, Jeremy Taylor remarks, that "strange it is, that for the stomach, which is scarce a span long, there should be provided so many furnaces and ovens, huge fires, and an army of cooks, cellars swimming with wine, and granaries sweating with corn; and that into one belly should enter the vintage of many nations, the spoils of distant provinces, and the shell-fishes of several seas.' (House of Feasting, or the Epicure's Measures, Part 1.)
My second poem is a metrical ad
TO THE PHYSICIAN WHO PENNED
AND PRESCRIBED THOSE PILULAR PRODUCTIONS OF THE PESTLE,
THIS PRETTY POEM IS PRESENTED
BY ITS PARENT.
Be it onion, fiery root,
Whose rank effluvia draws unbidden tears;
Potato, Erin's fruit,
With which the bogtrotter his stomach cheers;
Be it cabbage, flabby leaf!
Which cross-legg'd tailors smack with liquorish chops;
Or oatmeal porridge, chief,
Undoubted chief of Scotland's rustic slops.
Yet in these meals so plain,
Let but sharp appetite as guest attend,
May grudge the goût with which the bits descend.
To experience hunger and have wherewithal
To stop the void bread-basket's healthy call.
LORD BYRON'S COMBOLIO. (1)
Reading public! whose hunger,
New post prandium orations; (2)
Lose available labour
In blurring white paper,-
And we do not disparage
Him, thou, Reading Demus!
New guide-books, new grammars,
This industrious endeavour
Has long time been untwining,
Of the sense that's called common) (3) The hanks, which his distaff
That renown they must e'en win.
Who, with goose quills ink laden,
cate, now this most edi-
In saying, though they strive all
The first stretch of his powers
To shew that" a Minor"
(1) As his lordship imported this word from the East, it is but justice that he should have the benefit of it. In the Bride of Abydos, where it is used, he tells us it means the rosary which the Turks use. Here, of course, it is figuratively applied to the series of his poems, which are to be looked upon as the beads of this combolio, (what a mouthful the word is!) and they are beautifully strung upon the golden thread of my verses. Et ego in Arcadia! ahem.
(2) Beware of mistaking,-no allusion here to brandy,―gin being the drink of our indigenous orators. Indeed, one of the speechifying Radicals averred in public, that "English gin," (sink the circumstance that he was a vender thereof,)" is as nutritive as mother's milk to an Englishman." Radical harangues are not generally specimens of after-dinner eloquence, they are oftencr orationes impransæ, or ad prandium adipiscendum.
(3) Let us humbly request, that Sir Richard Phillips will, when he writes on philosophical matters, divest himself of the jocular sobriquet of "Common Sense," assumed by him, "quasi lucus a non lucendo, et mons a non movendo."
(4) Tall is surely synonymous with long, which is, I know, the epithet in commonest use in menageries, whence we borrow the metaphor.
(5) His Royal and noble authors," which Mr Park lately edited.
Neither one thing nor t'other; And though it was poorish, It deserved not the flourish Of that tomahawk cruel In the saffron and cerule, Which notch'd it and nick'd it; In short those wits wicked Had their sport with the lordling, Whom they thought a soft bardling, Too meek to retort it; But they were not so sorted, For his next was a stinger; Master Frank found his finger Had been burnt in the venture With one, not a flincher When his Pegasus skittish Gave a filing at "Bards British." If the "Hours" failed in merit, There was talent and spirit In this nettle stuff'd satire; And the blows, like the platter Of hail, fell by dozens On our splenetic cousins Dun-Edin's Reviewers, Those paddlers in sewers, Where their mud-ammunition (Hooting, hissing, derision,) Is mix'd up for griming All those who won't chime in With jacobin shoutings, And infidel doubtings.
Then came doughty Childe Harold, With whom the world quarrel'd, Because this aspirant, Though observant, enquirant, Shrewd, keen, energetic, Sublime, and patheticContriving to wedge in all, In one word, original; Yet betray'd the foot cloven, Scepticism being inwoven In his talk upon matters Best left to his betters.
How plain folks roll'd their gogglers!
How the learned prov'd bogglers!
"The Bride of Abydos"
To each "Hebrew Melody," Alas! and Ah, well-a-day! For most are but rudish, And a scantling are goodish; So let Messrs Braham And Nathan enjoy 'em.
"The Siege," next, " of Corinth," Illustrates a war in th' Morea;-but I dare say, From perusal or hearsay, Most now think on the munching Of the dogs, and their "crunching," (On what, in his jargon, Dr Gall calls an organ,) Stripping off the scalp, rot 'em! "As ye peel figs in autuinn."
With Alp to the arena