James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

April 7


By Lord Byron (1788–1824)

From “English Bards and Scotch Reviewers”

(Born April 7, 1770)

NEXT comes the dull disciple of thy school,

That mild apostate from poetic rule,

The simple Wordsworth, framer of a lay

As soft as evening in his favorite May,

Who warns his friend “to shake off toil and trouble,

And quit his books for fear of growing double;”

Who, both by precept and example, shows

That prose is verse, and verse is merely prose;

Convincing all, by demonstration plain,

Poetic souls delight in prose insane;

And Christmas stories tortured into rhyme

Contain the essence of the true sublime.

Thus, when he tells the tale of Betty Foy,

The idiot mother of “an idiot boy,”

A moon-struck, silly lad, who lost his way,

And, like his bard, confounded night with day,

So close on each pathetic part he dwells,

And each adventure so sublimely tells,

That all who view the “idiot in his glory,”

Conceive the bard the hero of the story.