Yet if an author, spite of foe or friend,
Despises all advice too much to mend,
But ever twangs the same discordant string,
Give him no quarter, howsoe'er he sing.
Let Havard's fate o'ertake him, who, for once,
Produced a play too dashing for a dunce:
At first none deemed it his; but when his name
Announced the fact—what then?—it lost its fame.
Though all deplore when Milton deigns to doze,
In a long work 'tis fair to steal repose.570
As Pictures, so shall Poems be; some stand
The critic eye, and please when near at hand;
But others at a distance strike the sight;
This seeks the shade, but that demands the light,
Nor dreads the connoisseur's fastidious view,
But, ten times scrutinised, is ten tmies new.
Few reach the Summit which before you lies.580
Parnassian pilgrims! ye whom chance, or choice,
Hath led to listen to the Muse's voice,
Receive this counsel, and be timely wise;
- For the story of Billy Havard's tragedy, see Davies's Life of Garrick. I believe it is Regulus, or Charles the First [Lincoln's Inn Fields, March 1, 1737]. The moment it was known to be his the theatre thinned, and the bookseller refused to give the customary sum for the copyright. [See Life of Garrick, by Thomas Davies (1808), ii. 205.]
- Though much displeased.—[MS. L. (a and b).]
- The scrutiny.—[MS. L. (a).]
- Oh ye aspiring youths whom fate or choice.—[MS. L. (a).]