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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/357

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315
ENGLISH BARDS, AND SCOTCH REVIEWERS.

If Still in Berkeley-Ballads most uncivil,
Thou wilt devote old women to the devil,[1]
The babe unborn thy dread intent may rue:
"God help thee," Southey,[2] and thy readers too.


Next comes the dull disciple of thy school,[3]
That mild apostate from poetic rule,
The simple Wordsworth, framer of a lay
As soft as evening in his favourite May,
Who warns his friend "to shake off toil and trouble,
And quit his books, for fear of growing double;"[4]240
Who, both by precept and example, shows
That prose is verse, and verse is merely prose;
Convincing all, by demonstration plain,

Poetic souls delight in prose insane;
  1. See The Old Woman of Berkeley, a ballad by Mr. Southey, wherein an aged gentlewoman is carried away by Beelzebub, on a "high trotting horse."
  2. The last line, "God help thee," is an evident plagiarism from the Anti-Jacobin to Mr. Southey, on his Dactylics:—

    "God help thee, silly one!"

    Poetry of the Anti-Jacobin, p. 23.

  3. [In the annotated copy of the Fourth Edition Byron has drawn a line down the margin of the passage on Wordsworth, lines 236-248, and adds the word "Unjust." The first four lines on Coleridge (lines 255-258) are also marked "Unjust." The recantation is, no doubt, intended to apply to both passages from beginning to end.]

    ["Unjust."—B., 1816. (See also Byron's letter to S. T. Coleridge, March 31, 1815.)]

  4. Lyrical Ballads, p. 4.—"The Tables Turned," Stanza 1.

    "Up, up, my friend, and clear your looks,
    Why all this toil and trouble?
    Up, up, my friend, and quit your books,
    Or surely you'll grow double."