Open main menu

Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/460

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Whom Nature guides, so writes, that every dunce,[1]
Enraptured, thinks to do the same at once;
But after inky thumbs and bitten nails,[2]
And twenty scattered quires, the coxcomb fails.

Let Pastoral be dumb; for who can hope
To match the youthful eclogues of our Pope?
Yet his and Philips'[3] faults, of different kind,
For Art too rude, for Nature too refined,[4]390
Instruct how hard the medium 'tis to hit
'Twixt too much polish and too coarse a wit.

A vulgar scribbler, certes, stands disgraced
In this nice age, when all aspire to taste;
The dirty language, and the noisome jest,

Which pleased in Swift of yore, we now detest;

    title of a book once in good repute, and likely enough to be so again. ["Baxter" is a slip of the pen. The tract or sermon, An Effectual Shove to the heavy-arse Christian, was, according to the title-page, written by William Bunyan, minister of the gospel in South Wales, and "printed for the author" in London in 1768.]

  1. Whom Nature guides so writes that he who sees
    Enraptured thinks to do the same with ease.—[MS. M.]

  2. But after toil-inked thumbs and bitten nails
    Scratched head, ten quires—the easy scribbler fails.—[MS. L. (a).]

  3. [Ambrose Philips (1675?-1749) published his Epistle to the Earl of Dorset and his Pastorals in 1709. It is said that Pope attacked him in his satires in consequence of an article in the Guardian, in which the Pastorals were unduly extolled. His verses, addressed to the children of his patron, Lord Carteret, were parodied by Henry Carey, in Namby Pamby, or a Panegyric on the New Versification.]
  4. The one too rustic, t' other too refined.—[MS. L. (a and b).]