The period from the death of Tennyson until the present moment has, it seems, more good lyric poets than any similar period since the seventeenth century—no great overpowering figures, but many poets who have written some three or four lyrics apiece which may be permanent in our literature. It did not always seem so; even two years ago I should have said the opposite; I should have named three or four poets and said there was nobody else who mattered. Then I gave all my time to the study of that poetry. There was a club of poets—you may know its name, ‘The Rhymers’ Club’—which first met, I think, a few months before the death of Tennyson and lasted seven or eight years. It met in a Fleet Street tavern called ‘The Cheshire Cheese.’ Two members of the Club are vivid in my memory: Ernest Dowson, timid, silent, a little melancholy, lax in body, vague in attitude; Lionel Johnson, determined, erect, his few words dogmatic, almost a dwarf but beautifully made, his features cut in ivory.
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