benefited by an actual return of reputation— as athletes get beyond the period of breathlessness, and come to their ‘second wind.’
Yet this is constantly happening.
, visiting Landor
in 1847, wrote in his diary, ‘He pestered me with Southey
—but who is Southey
had tasted fame more promptly than his greater contemporaries, and liked the taste so well that he held his own poems far superior to those of Wordsworth
, and wrote of them, ‘With Virgil, with Tasso
, with Homer
, there are fair grounds of comparison.’
Then followed a period during which the long shades of oblivion seemed to have closed over the author of ‘Madoc
’ and ‘Kehama.’
Behold! in 1886 the Pall Mall Gazette
, revising through ‘the best critics’ Sir James Lubbock
's ‘Hundred Best Books,’ dethrones Byron
, and Landor
; omits them all, and reinstates the forgotten Southey
Is this the final award of fate?
No: it is simply the inevitable swing of the pendulum.
, it would seem, is to have two innings; perhaps one day it will yet be Hayley