Old quill that look'st so hacked, so grimed, so sere,
Well teachest thou to practise lowliness!
For all thy outward meanness, not the less
Might thy small nib work deeds—good, great, and rare—
Deeds that in all we prize would far outrun
The mightiest work by wanton sword e'er wrought.
The greatest victory e'er by life-blood bought.
Might pale before achievements thou hadst done.
In second Petrarch's hand how would'st thou write
In e'er-enduring lines the tale of love;
In second Shakspeare's hand how would'st thou move
Mankind, unmasked, before the spell-bound sight.
With Goldsmith might'st thou every field explore
Of wit, and thence deduce the choicest of her store.