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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/253

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213
TO A KNOT OF UNGENEROUS CRITICS.

TO A KNOT OF UNGENEROUS CRITICS.[1]

Rail on, Rail on, ye heartless crew!
My strains were never meant for you;
Remorseless Rancour still reveal,
And damn the verse you cannot feel.
Invoke those kindred passions' aid,
Whose baleful stings your breasts pervade;
Crush, if you can, the hopes of youth,
Trampling regardless on the Truth:
Truth's Records you consult in vain,
She will not blast her native strain;
She will assist her votary's cause,
His will at least be her applause,
Your prayer the gentle Power will spurn;
To Fiction's motley altar turn,
Who joyful in the fond address
Her favoured worshippers will bless:
And lo! she holds a magic glass,

Where Images reflected pass,
  1. [From an autograph MS. at Newstead, now for the first time printed. There can be little doubt that these verses were called forth by the criticisms passed on the "Fugitive Pieces" by certain ladies of Southwell, concerning whom, Byron wrote to Mr. Pigot (Jan. 13, 1807), on sending him an early copy of the Poems, "That unlucky poem to my poor Mary has been the cause of some animadversion from ladies in years. I have not printed it in this collection in consequence of my being pronounced a most profligate sinner, in short a 'young Moore."—Life, p. 41.]