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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/489

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And, after fruitless efforts, you return
Without amendment, and he answers, "Burn!"
That instant throw your paper in the fire,
Ask not his thoughts, or follow his desire;
But (if true Bard!) you scorn to condescend,[1]
And will not alter what you can't defend,790
If you will breed this Bastard of your Brains,[2]
We'll have no words—I've only lost my pains.

Yet, if you only prize your favourite thought,
As critics kindly do, and authors ought;
If your cool friend annoy you now and then,
And cross whole pages with his plaguy pen;
No matter, throw your ornaments aside,—
Better let him than all the world deride.
Give light to passages too much in shade,
Nor let a doubt obscure one verse you've made;800
Your friend's a "Johnson," not to leave one word,
However trifling, which may seem absurd;
Such erring trifles lead to serious ills,
And furnish food for critics, or their quills.[3]

As the Scotch fiddle, with its touching tune,

Or the sad influence of the angry Moon,
  1. But if you're too conceited to amend.—[MS. L. (a).]
  2. Minerva being the first by Jupiter's head-piece, and a variety of equally unaccountable parturitions upon earth, such as Madoc, etc. etc.
  3. "A crust for the critics."—Bayes, in "the Rehearsal" [act ii. sc. 2].