The Muse in Council: Being Essays on Poets and Poetry

By John Drinkwater | Go to book overview

LORD DE TABLEY1

JOHN BYRNE, LEICESTER WARREN, who became Lord de Tabley in 1887, was born in 1835 and died in 1895. His first volume of poems appeared in 1859, and he was publishing until the time of his death. His period was, therefore, Victorian without qualification, and no stranger coming to his work with a knowledge of English poetry could fail to recognize in it clear marks of the age of Tennyson and Browning and Morris and Swinburne and Arnold. His reputation has never been, nor is it ever likely to be, with theirs. His mastery of the muse was far too inconstant a thing to give him place in the forefront of an age, but, at his best, he was not merely a small poet imitating these greater ones with talent, but an authentic maker drawing his variable inspiration from the same sources that worked in the masters of the time to an ampler though not always a richer gathering.

In the case of the foremost men it is, when all is said, idle to dispute whether one age is greater than another in poetry. Milton, Pope, Wordsworth, Tennyson, for example -- you may like one better than another, and have very good reasons for your

____________________
1
Prefixed to Select Poems of Lord de Tabley. ( Humphrey Milford, 1924.)

-195-

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The Muse in Council: Being Essays on Poets and Poetry
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Note vii
  • Contents ix
  • Theories 1
  • The Poet and Communication 3
  • The Poet and Tradition 22
  • 'simple, Sensuous, and Passionate' 44
  • Poetry and Conduct 57
  • Ancient Altars 81
  • Philip Sidney 83
  • John Milton 99
  • Thomas Gray 114
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge 126
  • William Wordsworth 133
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley 143
  • Modern Instances 157
  • William Cory 159
  • Lord De Tabley 195
  • William Ernest Henley 205
  • Alice Meynell 224
  • A. E. Housman's 'Last Poems' 245
  • Edwin Arlington Robinson 248
  • Mr. Masefield's 'Reynard' And 'Right Royal' 263
  • Rupert Brooke 273
  • Francis Ledwidge 289
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