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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/490

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All men avoid bad writers' ready tongues
As yawning waiters fly[1] Fitzscribble's lungs;[2]
Yet on he mouths—ten minutes—tedious each[3][4]
As Prelate's homily, or placeman's speech;810
Long as the last years of a lingering lease,
When Riot pauses until Rents increase.
While such a minstrel, muttering fustian, strays
O'er hedge and ditch, through unfrequented ways,
If by some chance he walks into a well,
And shouts for succour with stentorian yell,
"A rope! help, Christians, as ye hope for grace!"
Nor woman, man, nor child will stir a pace;
For there his carcass he might freely fling,[5]
From frenzy, or the humour of the thing.820
Though this has happened to more Bards than one;
I'll tell you Budgell's story,—and have done.

Budgell, a rogue and rhymester, for no good,

(Unless his case be much misunderstood)
  1. And the "waiters" are the only fortunate people who can "fly" from them; all the rest, viz. the sad subscribers to the "Literary Fund," being compelled, by courtesy, to sit out the recitation without a hope of exclaiming, "Sic" (that is, by choking Fitz. with bad wine, or worse poetry) "me servavit Apollo!" [See English Bards, line 1 and note 3.]
  2. On pain of suffering from their pen or tongues.—[MS. M. erased.]
    —— fly Fitzgerald's lungs.—[MS. M.]
  3. Ah when Bards mouth! how sympathetic Time
    Stagnates, and Hours stand still to hear their rhyme.
    —[MS. M. erased.]

  4. [Lines 813-816 not in MS. L. (a) or MS. L. (b).]
  5. Besides how know ye? that he did not fling
    Himself there—for the humour of the thing.
    —[MS. M.]