And who, when Fortune's warning voice is heard,
Would lose his opening prospects for a word?
Although, against that word, his heart rebel,
And Truth, indignant, all his bosom swell.
If since on Granta's failings, known to all
Away with themes like this! not mine the task,
From flattering friends to tear the hateful mask;
Let keener bards delight in Satire's sting,
My Fancy soars not on Detraction's wing:80
Once, and but once, she aim'd a deadly blow,
To hurl Defiance on a secret Foe;
But when that foe, from feeling or from shame,
The cause unknown, yet still to me the same,
Warn'd by some friendly hint, perchance, retir'd,
With this submission all her rage expired.
From dreaded pangs that feeble Foe to save,
She hush'd her young resentment, and forgave.
Or, if my Muse a Pedant's portrait drew,
Pomposus' virtues are but known to few:90
I never fear'd the young usurper's nod,
And he who wields must, sometimes, feel the rod.
- [Dr. Butler, then Head-master of Harrow. Had Byron published another edition of these poems, it was his intention to replace these four lines by the four which follow:—
"If once my muse a harsher portrait drew,
Warm with her wrongs, and deem'd the likeness true,
By cooler judgment taught, her fault she owns,—
With noble minds a fault confess'd, atones."—[MS. M.]
See also allusion in letter to Mr. Henry Drury, June 25, 1809.—Moore's Note.]