Page images

To eulogise a poet's strain
Who boasts no power to praise again,--
Takes not the slightest pains to woo them,
And does not even contribute to them !*

I have but imped the wings of time
In weaving this unstudied rhyme ;

* Why does not the “ Literary Union,” which seems to be a sort of “ Common Hall” of literature, devise some plan of reform in the world of letters. It is very certain that a species of boroughmongering has grown up therein, which places the critical influence of the press almost entirely in the hands of some half-dozen individuals; and whether the power they possess be applied in a spirit of venality or good-nature, the effects of the system are the same. Thus the accredited contributor to one or two popular periodicals is all but secure of the favourable suffrages of most contemporary journals, if the editors happen to be, as is usually the case, authors themselves. I scarcely ever remember to have seen a really critical exaniination of any of the voluminous writings of Mr. Allan Cunningham, and it may fairly be inferred that he is not altogether infallible. What is the probable reason? Why, truly, he writes in the “ Literary Gazette,” “ Athenæum,” “ Fraser,“ New Monthly," “ Metropolitan,” “ Englishman,” and a dozen other periodicals; and whoever should have the temerity to indulge in unpleasant strictures upon a volume from his pen, would stand a chance to receive a dozen points in his target for his presumption; whereas on the other hand, if he were a “canny critic," and did his “ spiriting gently," it would be more than probable that some work of his own would, ere long, come under the notice of so universal a reviewer, and be treated with grateful respect in return !

And if I've dipped my pen in gall,
I bear no malice after all!
Nor e’er till now have penned a strain,
Foredoomed to give the weakest pain;
But if a cur in wanton spite
Will turn upon my heels and bite;
A viper by my folly nursed,
Trail o'er my name its slime accursed;
To wormwood kindest feelings wring,
And but because I warmed it, sting: -
If some smooth, prating, specious knave,
Libeller, sycophant, and slave,
(Who'd for his master do for lucre,
What Andrews, gratis, did for Blucher*)
Proud of his mushroom power, be drawn
To slander where he used to fawn;-
Or some low reprobate think fit,
(Potent in name if not in wit,)
To rate me in his Monthly hash,
Because I scorned to print his trash;t

• An allusion to the benevolent politeness of a great London bookseller to the venerable barbarian Blucher, at the fête at Carlton Palace, in 1815, at which he, (the bibliopole,) officiated as a waiter.

+ There is, I am told, an illustrious obscure of the name of Churchill (with two qualities, at least, in common with his great namesake), who is one of the second-hand wits of the mock-Blackwood. I can only reser his enmity to me, to the circumstance of my refusing to admit his contributions into the

If such a crew at length provoke
Arrow for arrow—stroke for stroke ;
The bitter jest or angry line,
'T is more for others' sakes than mine;
Unwillingly the bow is bent,
Their's be the guilt and chastisement !

A. A. W.

“ Literary Souvenir;" for which, with all his affected contempt for Annuals, he would have been but too happy to have been allowed to write! The favourite joke of this blockhead and his associates is to dub me Alaric Attila Watts; a jest, (if the mere calling names can be entitled to be so characterised) borrowed from the quiver of Mr. Lockhart, the editor of the Quarterly Review! So delighted does the Editor of the Atlas appear to be with this unanswerable stroke of wit, that in one of his notices of the Literary Souvenir, of half a column in length, he prints the words “ Mr. Alaric Attila Watts” no less than twelve times !!!



Oh! promise me to sing, love,

My songs in after years,
When the quiet eve shall bring, love,

The hour for blissful tears:
When the busy world is still, love,

When a few dear friends are nigh,
When the moon is on the hill, love,

And the stars are in the sky!

When the hearts where I would dwell, love,

With a thought of me may thrill, —
When the eyes that knew me well, love,

With silent tears may fill:
When the few who ne'er forget, love,

Will fondly name my name,
Or should they blame me, yet, love,

Will love me, while they blame.

I care not for the praise, love,

So sweet to minstrel's ear,
For the laurel, and the bays, love,

The critic, or his sneer:
For the plaudit wealth can buy, love,

Or the wreath that fame can bring,
When you sing them, if you sigh, love,

And sigh them when you sing!

« PreviousContinue »