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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 6.djvu/31

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DEDICATION.[1]

I.

Bob Southey! You 're a poet—Poet-laureate,
And representative of all the race;
Although 't is true that you turned out a Tory at
Last,—yours has lately been a common case;
And now, my Epic Renegade! what are ye at?
With all the Lakers, in and out of place?
A nest of tuneful persons, to my eye
Like "four and twenty Blackbirds in a pye;


II.

"Which pye being opened they began to sing,"
(This old song and new simile holds good),
"A dainty dish to set before the King,"
Or Regent, who admires such kind of food;—
And Coleridge, too, has lately taken wing,

But like a hawk encumbered with his hood,—
  1. ["As the Poem is to be published anonymously, omit the Dedication. I won't attack the dog in the dark. Such things are for scoundrels and renegadoes like himself" [Revise]. See, too, letter to Murray, May 6, 1819 (Letters, 1900, iv. 294); and Southey's letter to Bedford, July 31, 1819 (Selections from the Letters, etc., 1856, iii. 137, 138). According to the editor of the Works of Lord Byron, 1833 (xv. 101), the existence of the Dedication "became notorious" in consequence of Hobhouse's article in the Westminster Review, 1824. He adds, for Southey's consolation and encouragement, that "for several years the verses have been selling in the streets as a broadside," and that "it would serve no purpose to exclude them on the present occasion." But Southey was not appeased. He tells Allan Cunningham (June 3, 1833) that "the new edition of Byron's works is ... one of the very worst symptoms of these bad times" (Life and Correspondence, 1850, vi. 217).]