« AnteriorContinuar »
I think I met with something there,
For, in a modern poet's flights,
I'm sure it may be justly said,
Alike, too, both conduce to sleep—
This difference only, as the god
Are they—but senseless stones and blocks? To where yon taper cheers the vale
With hospitable ray;
1. First published in The Vicar of Wakefield, 1766. It is now printed from the amended text which appears in A collection of the most II. “For here, forlorn and lost, I tread With fainting steps and slow—
Where wilds, immeasurably spread,
Seem lengthening as I go.”
III. “Forbear, my son,” the hermit cries, “To tempt the dangerous gloom; For yonder faithless phantom flies To lure thee to thy doom.
esteemed pieces of Poetry, 1767; with an additional stanza — the 30th —given by the author to Richard Archdal, esq., from The Miscellaneous Works, 1801.
This ballad requires no explanation; but, as its originality has been contested, it may be desirable to compare the statements on each side.
In 1767 the author was censured, in an anonymous communication to the printer of the St. James's Chronicle, a paper noted for wit and sarcasm, as the inferior copyist of Percy. He thus replied:
“A correspondent of yours accuses me of having taken a ballad I published some time ago, from one [The Friar of orders gray] by the ingenious Mr. Percy. I do not think there is any great resemblance between the two pieces in question. If there be any, his ballad is taken from mine. I read it to Mr. Percy some years ago, and he – as we both considered these things as trifles at best—told me, with his usual good-humor, the next time I saw him, that he had taken my plan to form the fragments of Shakspeare into a ballad of his own. He then read me his little cento, if I may so call it, and I highly approved it. Such petty anecdotes as these are scarce worth printing; and, were it