« AnteriorContinuar »
(Extracted from a MS. letter of the Baron von LAUERWINKEL.)
The manner in which you express productions with a severer eye, and to yourself concerning the poetry of satisfy ourselves that he is by no means Voore, is not unlike that which I a great one. have met with in many of your Eng- To tell you the truth, had Mr lish journals, and is withal sufficiently Moore been a Frenchman or an Itanatural to a person of your age and lian, nay, I am sorry to say it, had he habits. Like you I admire the lively been born a countryman of my ownand graceful genius of this man ; like had similar pretensions been preferred you I appreciate the amiable tempera- in favour of similar productions among ment and dispositions which lend a any other European people,- I know charm to his verses, more touching not that I should have been inclined than any thing which liveliness, grace, to weigh them so scrupulously, or perand genius alone could confer; but I haps justified in rejecting them so decannot consent for a moment to class cidedly. It is the belief of the most Mr Moore with the great poets of orthodox divines, that the guilt of a England—no more can I persuade careless Christian is greater than that myself that he is likely to go down to of an ignorant Heathen, even although posterity as the national poet of Ire- the offences of the two men may have land. The claim which has lately been externally and apparently alike. been set up for him is one of no trifling « Of him to whom much is given the import. It would not only assign to more shall be required." I must do him a share of the same magnificent justice to your country, even although honours which have of right descend- it should be at the expense of your ed to Byron, Wordsworth, and Camp- favourite. The English poet who bell, but mingle with his laurels ano- fails to be held great, chiefly because ther wreath such as the grateful af- he chooses not to be pure, falls a fection of your own country has al- splendid sacrifice before the altar to ready woven for Scott and Burns. which he has brought an unacceptable The friends of Mr Moore, or the ad- offering. Even genius will not save mirers of his genius, have done no him; and yet the highest genius will service either to the poet or to his do much. We listen with sorrow to works by their injudicious praises and the pernicious sophisms, and gloomy their extravagant demands. The only despondings, which deform and darken effect of their zeal is, to make reflec- the native majesty of Byron; but tive men try the productions of their hope and trust are mingled with our idol by a higher standard than they sorrow, and we cannot suppose it might otherwise have judged it neces- would be less than blasphemy to dessary to apply. By rejecting, in behalf pair of such a spirit. In Moore the of their favourite, the honours which redeeming power is less. He possesses we willingly grant to a minor poet, not, whatever his nobler brother may they have compelled us to look at his do, the charm which might privilege Vol. IV.