Extract of the Review of Lord Byron's Hours of Idleness, from Edinburgh Review, No. XXII., which Occasioned "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers".
Wilton and son, 1820 - 8 pages
ancestors attempt barbarity Bards believe better BORN bring brown Chief certainly CLASS clear Compassion conclude considerable contain degree descendant distant doom'd effusions eighteen express fame fancy favourite fear feet former forward Friend garret giving Goes ground happen HARVARD COLLEGE hear highly hobbling HOURS OF IDLENESS judgment kind late leaving lines live look Lord Byron Macpherson means MEMORY MERRILL minor mountain ne'er nine nineteen Noble Author o'er OCCASIONED opinion Original Ossian particular pass PASSAGE plea plead poem poetry poets poor Pope positive possibly present PRINTED privilege probability quantity reader remembrance Review rises seat Soul spread stanzas Tear thankful thing Translated truth turn venture verses volume wave whole write written young youth
Page 3 - THE Poesy of this young Lord belongs to the class which neither gods nor men are said to permit. Indeed, we do not recollect to have seen a quantity of verse with so few deviations in either direction from that exact standard. His effusions are spread over a dead flat, and can no more get above or below the level, than if they were so much stagnant water.
Page 3 - This is our view of the law on the point, and we dare to say so will it be ruled. Perhaps, however, in reality, all that he tells us about his youth, is rather with a view to increase our wonder than to soften our censures. He possibly means to say " See how a minor can write ! This poem was actually composed by a young man of eighteen, and this by one of only sixteen...
Page 8 - But whatever judgment may be passed on the poems of this noble minor, it seems we must take them as we find them, and be content : for they are the last we shall ever have from him. He is at best, he says, but an intruder into the groves of Parnassusi; he never lived in a garret, like thorough-bred poets, and though he once roved a careless mountaineer in the Highlands of Scotland, he has not of late enjoyed this advantage.
Page 7 - ... ('The artless Helicon I boast is youth") — should either not know, or should seem not to know, so much about his own ancestry. Besides a poem above cited on the family seat of the Byrons, we have another of eleven pages on the self-same subject, introduced with an apology, 'he certainly had no intention of inserting it;' but really, 'the particular request of some friends,
Page 4 - We would entreat him to believe, that a certain portion of liveliness, somewhat of fancy, is necessary to constitute a poem ; and that a poem in the present day, to be read, must contain at least one thought, either in a little degree different from the ideas of former writers, or differently expressed.
Page 4 - He certainly, however, does allude frequently to his family and ancestors ; sometimes in poetry, sometimes in notes : and while giving up his claim on the score of rank, he takes care to remember us of Dr. Johnson's saying, that when a nobleman appears as an author, his merit should be handsomely acknowledged.
Page 5 - Now we positively do assert, that there is nothing better than these stanzas in the whole compass of the noble minor's volume. Lord Byron should also have a care of attempting what the greatest poets have done before him, for comparisons (as he must have had occasion ,to see at his writingmaster's) are odious. — Gray's Ode on Eton College, should really have kept out the ten hobbling stanzas ' on a distant view of the village and school of Harrow.
Page 3 - Byron, for the purpose of compelling him to put into court a certain quantity of poetry; and if judgment were given against him; it is highly probable that an exception would be taken, were he to deliver for poetry, the contents of this volume. To this he might plead minority; but as he now makes voluntary tender of the article, he hath no right to sue, on that ground, for the price in good current praise, should the goods be unmarketable.
Page 4 - But, alas! we all remember the poetry of Cowley at ten, and of Pope at twelve j and so far from hearing, with any .degree of surprise, that very poor verses were written by a youth from his leaving school to his leaving college, inclusive, we really believe this to be the most common of all occurrences ; that it happens in the life of nine men in ten who are educated in England ; and that the tenth man writes better verse than Lord Byron.