’Tis not a poem with learning fraught,
To that I ne’er pretended;
Nor yet with Pope’s fine touches wrought,
From that my time prevented.
We skip four intermediate stanzas; then comes
Milton divine and great Shakespeare
With reverence I mention;
My name with theirs shall ne’er appear,
’Tis far from my intention!
If poetry, as one pretends,
Be all imagination!
Why then, at once, my bardship ends—
’Mong prose I take my station.
Moxon’s Poems, p. 81, Ed. 1826.
But as "common sense" must see, says Mr. Moxon, that imagination can have nothing to do with poetry, he engages to pursue his tuneful vocation, subject to one condition—
You’ll hear no more from me, If critics prove unkind; My next in simple prose must be, Unless I favour find!
We regret that some kind—or, as Mr. Moxon would have thought it, unkind—critic, did not, on the appearance of this first volume, confirm his own misgivings that he had been all this time, like the man in the farce, talking not only prose, but nonsense into the bargain: this disagreeable information the pretension of his recent publication obliges us to convey to him. The fact is, that the volume at first struck us with serious alarm. Its typographical splendour led us to fear that this style of writing was getting into fashion; and the hints about "classic Cam" seemed to impute the production to one of our Universities: on turning, with some curiosity, to the title-page, for the name of the too indulgent bookseller who had bestowed such unmerited embellishment on a work which we think of so little value—we found none; and on further inquiry learned that Dover Street, Piccadilly, and not the banks of "classic Cam" is the seat of this sonneteering muse—in short, that Mr. Moxon, the bookseller, is his own poet, and that Mr. Moxon, the poet, is his own bookseller. This discovery at once calmed both our anxieties—it relieved the university of Cambridge from an awful responsibility, which might have called down upon it the vengeance of Lord Radnor; and it accounted—without