Here's to budgets, bags, and wallets! Here's to all the wandering train! Here's our ragged bairns and callets! One and all cry out, Amen!
A fig for those by law protected! Liberty's a glorious feast! Courts for cowards were erected! Churches built to please the priest!
Drink to lofty hopes that cool - Visions of a perfect state: Drink we, last, the public fool, Frantic love and frantic hate.
Drink to Fortune, drink to Chance, While we keep a little breath! Drink to heavy Ignorance, Hob and nob with brother Death!
Is not the movement the same, though the modern speaks a wilder recklessness?
So in the best company we leave you, who were the life and soul of so much company, good and bad. No poet, since the Psalmist of Israel, ever gave the world more assurance of a man; none lived a life more strenuous, engaged in an eternal conflict of the passions, and by them overcome--"mighty and mightily fallen." When we think of you, Byron seems, as Plato would have said, remote by one degree from actual truth, and Musset by a degree more remote than Byron.
(Do you remember how Leigh Hunt Enraged you once by writing MY DEAR BYRON?) Books have their fates,--as mortals have who punt, And YOURS have entered on an age of iron. Critics there be who think your satire blunt, Your pathos, fudge; such perils must environ Poets who in their time were quite the rage, Though now there's not a soul to turn their page. Yes, there is much dispute about your worth, And much is said which you might like to know By modern poets here upon the earth, Where poets live, and love each other so; And, in Elysium, it may move your mirth To hear of bards that pitch your praises low, Though there be some that for your credit stickle, As--Glorious Mat,--and not inglorious Nichol.
(This kind of writing is my pet aversion, I hate the slang, I hate the personalities, I loathe the aimless, reckless, loose dispersion, Of every rhyme that in the singer's wallet is, I hate it as you hated the EXCURSION, But, while no man a hero to his valet is, The hero's still the model; I indite The kind of rhymes that Byron oft would write.)