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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/340

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ENGLISH BARDS, AND SCOTCH REVIEWERS.

Prepare for rhyme—I'll publish, right or wrong:
Fools are my theme, let Satire be my song.[1]


Oh! Nature’s noblest gift—my grey goose-quill!
Slave of my thoughts, obedient to my will,
Torn from thy parent bird to form a pen,
That mighty instrument of little men!10
The pen! foredoomed to aid the mental throes
Of brains that labour, big with Verse or Prose;
Though Nymphs forsake, and Critics may deride,
The Lover's solace, and the Author's pride.
What Wits! what Poets dost thou daily raise!

How frequent is thy use, how small thy praise!

    first line of English Bards, and the famous parody in Rejected Addresses. The following jeux d' ésprit were transcribed by R. C. Dallas on a blank leaf of a copy of the Fifth Edition:—

    "Written on a copy of English Bards at the 'Alfred' by W. T. Fitzgerald, Esq.—

    "I find Lord Byron scorns my Muse,
    Our Fates are ill agreed;
    The Verse is safe, I can't abuse
    Those lines I never read.

    Signed W. T. F."

    Answer written on the same page by Lord Byron—

    "What's writ on me," cries Fitz, "I never read"!
    What's writ by thee, dear Fitz, none will, indeed.
    The case stands simply thus, then, honest Fitz,
    Thou and thine enemies are fairly quits;
    Or rather would be, if for time to come,
    They luckily were deaf, or thou wert dumb;
    But to their pens while scribblers add their tongues,
    The Waiter only can escape their lungs.[i]]


    ^  i. [Compare Hints from Horace, l. 808, note 1.]

  1. Truth be my theme, and Censure guide my song.—[MS. M.]