Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/257

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217
SOLILOQUY OF A BARD IN THE COUNTRY.

SOLILOQUY OF A BARD IN THE COUNTRY.[1]

'Twas now the noon of night, and all was still,
Except a hapless Rhymer and his quill.
In vain he calls each Muse in order down,
Like other females, these will sometimes frown;
He frets, he fumes, and ceasing to invoke
The Nine, in anguish'd accents thus he spoke:
Ah what avails it thus to waste my time,
To roll in Epic, or to rave in Rhyme?
What worth is some few partial readers' praise,
If ancient Virgins croaking censures raise?
Where few attend, 'tis useless to indite;
Where few can read, 'tis folly sure to write;
Where none but girls and striplings dare admire,
And Critics rise in every country Squire—
But yet this last my candid Muse admits,
When Peers are Poets, Squires may well be Wits;
When schoolboys vent their amorous flames in verse,
Matrons may sure their characters asperse;
And if a little parson joins the train,
And echos back his Patron's voice again—
Though not delighted, yet I must forgive,

Parsons as well as other folks must live:—
  1. [From an autograph MS. at Newstead, now for the first time printed.]