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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/68

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28
HOURS OF IDLENESS.

THOUGHTS SUGGESTED BY A COLLEGE EXAMINATION.

High in the midst, surrounded by his peers,
Magnus[1] his ample front sublime uprears:[2]
Plac'd on his chair of state, he seems a God,
While Sophs[3] and Freshmen tremble at his nod;
As all around sit wrapt in speechless gloom,[4]
His voice, in thunder, shakes the sounding dome;
Denouncing dire reproach to luckless fools,
Unskill'd to plod in mathematic rules.


Happy the youth! in Euclid's axioms tried,
Though little vers'd in any art beside;10
Who, scarcely skill'd an English line to pen,[5]

Scans Attic metres with a critic's ken.
  1. [No reflection is here intended against the person mentioned under the name of Magnus. He is merely represented as performing an unavoidable function of his office. Indeed, such an attempt could only recoil upon myself; as that gentleman is now as much distinguished by his eloquence, and the dignified propriety with which he fills his situation, as he was in his younger days for wit and conviviality. [Dr. William Lort Mansel (1753-1820) was, in 1798, appointed Master of Trinity College, by Pitt. He obtained the bishopric of Bristol, through the influence of his pupil, Spencer Perceval, in 1808. He died in 1820.]
  2. M—ns—l.—[4to]
  3. [Undergraduates of the second and third year.]
  4. Whilst all around.—[4to]
  5. Who with scarce sense to pen an English letter,
    Yet with precision scans an Attic metre.—[4to]