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The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero)/Poetry/Volume 3/Verses found in a Summer-house at Hales-Owen


When Dryden's fool, "unknowing what he sought,"
His hours in whistling spent, "for want of thought,"[2]
This guiltless oaf his vacancy of sense
Supplied, and amply too, by innocence:
Did modern swains, possessed of Cymon's powers,
In Cymon's manner waste their leisure hours,
Th' offended guests would not, with blushing, see
These fair green walks disgraced by infamy.
Severe the fate of modern fools, alas!
When vice and folly mark them as they pass.
Like noxious reptiles o'er the whitened wall,
The filth they leave still points out where they crawl.

[First published 1832, vol. xvii.]

  1. [The Leasowes, the residence of the poet Shenstone, is near the village of Halesowen, in Shropshire.]
  2. [See Dryden's Cymon and Iphigenia, lines 84, 85.]