��Oh! send them to the sullen mansions dun, Her baleful eyes where Sorrow rolls around ; Where gloom-enamour'd Mischief loves to dwell, And Murder, all blood-bolter'd, schemes the wound. When cates luxuriant pile the spacious dish, And purple nectar glads the festive hour; The guest, without a want, without a wish, Can yield no room to Music's soothing pow'r.
Some of the old legendary stories put in verse by modern writers provoked him to caricature x them thus one day at Streatham ; but they are already well-known, I am sure.
The tender infant, meek and mild,
Fell down upon the stone; The nurse took up the squealing child,
But still the child squeal'd on 2 .
A famous ballad also, beginning Rio verde, Rio verde, when I commended the translation of it, he said he could do it better himself as thus :
Glassy water, glassy water, Down whose current clear and strong, Chiefs confus'd in mutual slaughter, Moor and Christian roll along 3 .
��1 Caricature is not in Johnson's Dictionary.
2 Wordsworth says of the imitators of the Reliques, and of Johnson's attack on the old ballads : ' The critic triumphed, the legendary imi tators were deservedly disregarded, and as undeservedly, their ill-imitated models sank in this country into temporary neglect ... Dr. Percy was so abashed by the ridicule flung upon his labours . . . that, though while he was writing under a mask he had not wanted resolution to follow his genius into the regions of true sim- p.icity and genuine pathos . . . yet when he appeared in his own person and character as a poetical writer, he adopted, as in the tale of the Hermit of Warkworth, a diction scarcely in any one of its features distinguishable from the vague, the
��glossy, and unfeeling language of his day.' Wordsworth's Works, ed. 1857, vi. 372.
Percy himself described his Re- liques as ' such a strange collection of trash.' Nichols's Literary History, vii. 577.
Johnson had helped Percy in the publication of the Reliques. Life, iii. 276, n. 2 ; Letters, i. 89. 3 ' Rio verde, rio verde,
Quanto cuerpo en ti se bana De Cristianos y de Moros
Muertos por la dura espada.'
- Gentle river, gentle river,
Lo, thy streams are stain 'd
with gore !
Many a brave and noble captain Floats along thy willow'd
Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, vol. i. Bk. iii. No. 16.