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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/259

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219
SOLILOQUY OF A BARD IN THE COUNTRY.

Yet must I spare—nor thus my pen degrade,
I quite forgot that scandal was his trade.
For food and raiment thus the coxcomb rails,
For those who fear his physic, like his tales.
Why should his harmless censure seem offence?
Still let him eat, although at my expense,
And join the herd to Sense and Truth unknown,
Who dare not call their very thoughts their own,
And share with these applause, a godlike bribe,
In short, do anything, except prescribe:
For though in garb of Galen he appears,
His practice is not equal to his years.
Without improvement since he first began,
A young Physician, though an ancient Man—
Now let me cease—Physician, Parson, Dame,
Still urge your task, and if you can, defame.
The humble offerings of my Muse destroy,
And crush, oh! noble conquest! crush a Boy.
What though some silly girls have lov'd the strain,
And kindly bade me tune my Lyre again;
What though some feeling, or some partial few,
Nay, Men of Taste and Reputation too,
Have deign'd to praise the firstlings of my Muse—
If you your sanction to the theme refuse,
If you your great protection still withdraw,
Whose Praise is Glory, and whose Voice is law!
Soon must I fall an unresisting foe,

A hapless victim yielding to the blow.—