ed against religion a bar of burning iron, like "Queen Mab," instead of a piece of polished wood, like the "Essay on Man." Our morality improved, in outward decorum, at least, and the last remains of the indecency of former times were swept away--to re-appear, indeed, afterwards partially in "Don Juan." Poetry, too, after coquetting for a little, not very gracefully, with Science in Darwin's "Botanic Garden," and "Temple of Nature," aspired to the hand of Philosophy; and the Lake poets and others not merely found a poetic worship in nature, but set to song many of the wondrous speculations of modern psychology. A taste for ancient, simple poetic writers spread widely, and produced Scott's brilliant imitations of ballad poetry, and Wordsworth's early lyrical strains. Popular principles began to prevail, and knowledge to circulate among the lower classes; and they learned not only to read poems with relish, but their "poor dumb mouths" ever and anon were opened to utter a stern and vigorous poetry of their own.
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