« AnteriorContinua »
THERE being more than sufficient in the annexed pages to try the fortitude of l'ami lecteur, I will be proportionably considerate, and cut the discours préliminaire as short as possible.
Of course I am not insane enough to imagine, (if the madness of Poets can have a limit,) that the thorough-paeed Prose-monger will doom himself to the peine forte et dure of my poetic rack; and even the indulgent admirer of the “ Gay Science” will, I apprehend, have quite enough to do to preserve his equanimity above par.
The peruser of the present Miscellanea may set it down as a true tenet, that had my intellect been fed upon any useful pabulum, instead of (woodcock-like) the springs of the Castalides, the following verses would never have come into either my head or his hand, and thus the literature of the Nineteenth Century would not have been enriched with the treasures of “The Poetic Negligée;" but the mind lying fallow, the seeds of idleness took root, and, for want of tillage, quickly over-ran it, as gardens are known to luxuriate weeds, (in the place of flowers,) through the want of due care and cultivation.
Being therefore wholly sans emploi, I was soon driven upon those Goodwin-sands of society--INTRIGUE, (where many a desæuvré has been wrecked before me,) and I had no choice or alternative but to establish une liaison litterairt, which (blushing at the admission) I accordingly entered into, with a Mademoiselle Erato, sixth daughter of one Jupiter, (who married into the Mnemosyne family,) and by her had issue,” (as Mr. Debrett says,) the rosy bantling which the reader, at the present moment, does me the high honour of being dry-nurse to.--He is said to be the very type of his mamma, who (when enceinte) had une malacie for the popularity of her offspring, and (as the Author of his being) I am free to confess, that I sincerely hope the maternal penchant may be indulgently gratified.
She is, moreover, again in that interesting situation, ” in which ladies wish to be who love their lords," but should her firstling not be taken cherishingly by the hand, I have a sort of painful presentiment that the little innocent will be mort-né, and so exceedingly sensitive do I feel upon the occasion, that I cannot bring myself to look upon her fausse-couche, in any other view than as a downright miscarriage of my own.
I am a ready disciple of the doctrine which teaches, that
" nothing but what arises from the heart goes to the heart, and the verse which never quickened a pulse in the bosom of the Poet, never awakened a throb in that of his reader.” So wrote (I forget who)-and so, from the very core of my heart, think I. * 11 may also say with the gentle Bard of the Leasowes of some were written on occasions a good deal imaginary, others not so ; and the only reason there are so many is, that I was anxious (if possible) to write one good song, and could never please myself.” it. It may peradventure be matter of objection to those who profess the cold creed of misogyny, or to the capricciose of le beau sexe, that I have embalmed, as it were, nearly the whole of the trifles in “ The Poetic Negligée” with the frankincense of WOMAN's name; but to so welcome a charge, eagerly do I plead“ Guilty," since therein consists the only odour they have to boast of, and such as are without it, resemble, in my mind, the scentless rose, or the valueless shell divested of its precious pearl.