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JOHN DYER. John Dyer is one of the few, the very few, English-writing poets Wales has produced. It is remarkable that their number should be so small, that we should be able to count them on the fingers of one hand—Dyer, George Herbert, his brother, Lord Herbert of Cherbury, whose poetry, perhaps, is too little known, Vaughan, and—well, is there any other follower of the Muses to add to the list ? We cannot think of any. And even the four we have mentioned are of the order euphemistically denominated " minor," to which, if we happen to be in a very complacent and patronising mood, we append the not too com¬ plimentary epithet, " pleasing." Of course, that the genius of the people should have found expression in poets—" bards," are they not ?— employing the language of the land is natural, and one would not have looked to the Principality for a great English, non-Cymric poet; nevertheless, accident, one would have thought, would have assigned to Wales a larger share of the many writers who have made poetry the strongest part of our national literature. The scenery too, the romance, the richness of story, and the picturesque legend clustering round the annals of the country might well have been more stimula¬ tive of English, as opposed to localised, poetic genius. How¬ ever, " whatever is, is best," at least we are told so, and as Dyer represents almost exclusively the " foreign "* poets of the Principality in the eighteenth century, we must be content, in default of something more suggestive, to discuss awhile the merits of " Grrongar Hill " and the " Fleece." And first, as to the poet's life. I may say at once that there is here very little to go on. The materials out of which to construct a tolerably connected biography of Dyer are deplorably scanty. He has never been properly edited. Some years ago Dr. Grrosart promised to add one more to his many services to literature by bringing out a new edition of the poet's works, prefaced by a full and complete Life drawn from the papers still extant, and now in the possession of Dyer's lineal repre¬ sentative. Whether such a volume ever appeared I cannot say; —-----------------------------------------------------' .----------— * Using the epithet in the sense in which it and its counterpart " alien ' have been applied to the sister island across the channel.