Let Satire Be My Song


Bequest of Harry Elkins Widener, 1916 – HEW 1.11.6

Prepare for rhyme – I’ll publish, right or wrong:
Fools are my theme, let Satire be my song.

Lord Byron (1788-1824). English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers (London, 1809).

English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers was brought out by Cawthorn in March 1809. The first edition of 1,000 copies sold well enough to warrant a second edition “with considerable additions and alterations,” lengthening the poem from 696 to 1050 lines. Like his satirical forebears, Byron took aim, sometimes recklessly, at his contemporaries, rendering judgments which in several cases he soon came to regret.