chapter  67
6 Pages

J. F. A. Pyre on Byron and modern taste

1907

J. F. A. Pyre’s essay 'Lord Byron in our Day' appeared in the Atlantic Monthly for April 1907. An instance of the cocksureness of each provincial generation of men is our assumption, latterly, that our standards of taste have settled to a constant. Byron is allied to the great minds of tragedy and comedy by his alertness to the incongruities of life, the grand and the trivial. In Byron, the poetic fire often fades suddenly and leaves us staring at blackened spots in his creations. He was dependent upon his volleying passion for illumination, and this failing, he had no assured art of style, or lacked the patience, to patch up his transitions or overlay with conciliating decoration the blotches where inspiration cooled. He was deeply and sincerely interested in the moral aspect of things; only, he laid the stress elsewhere than on the conventional morality of his day.