George Gordon Byron ( )

Soliloquy of a Bard in the Country

Twas now the noon of night, and all was still,
Except a hapless Rhymer and his quill.
In vain he calls each Muse in order down,
Like other females, these will sometimes frown;
He frets, be fumes, and ceasing to invoke
The Nine, in anguishd accents thus he spoke:
Ah what avails it thus to waste my time,
To roll in Epic, or to rave in Rhyme?
What worth is some few partial readers praise.
If ancient Virgins croaking censures raise?
Where few attend, tis useless to indite;
Where few can read, tis folly sure to write;
Where none but girls and striplings dare admire,
And Critics rise in every country Squire
But yet this last my candid Muse admits,
When Peers are Poets, Squires may well be Wits;
When schoolboys vent their amorous flames in verse,
Matrons may sure their characters asperse;
And if a little parson joins the train,
And echos back his Patrons voice again
Though not delighted, yet I must forgive,
Parsons as well as other folks must live:
From rage he rails not, rather say from dread,
He does not speak for Virtue, but for bread;
And this we know is in his Patrons giving,
For Parsons cannot eat without a Living.
The Matron knows I love the Sex too well,
Even unprovoked aggression to repel.
What though from private pique her anger grew,
And bade her blast a heart she never knew?
What though, she said, for one light heedless line,
That Wilmots verse was far more pure than mine!
In wars like these, I neither fight nor fly,
When dames accuse tis bootless to deny;
Hers be the harvest of the martial field,
I cant attack, where Beauty forms the shield.
But when a pert Physician loudly cries,
Who hunts for scandal, and who lives by lies,
A walking register of daily news,
Traind to invent, and skilful to abuse
For arts like these at bounteous tables fed,
When Scondemns a book he never read.
Declaring with a coxcombs native air,
The morals shocking, though the rhymes are fair.
Ah! must he rise unpunishd from the feast,
Nor lashd by vengeance into truth at least?
Such lenity were more than Mans indeed!
Those who condemn, should surely deign to read.
Yet must I sparenor thus my pen degrade,
I quite forgot that scandal was his trade.
For food and raiment thus the coxcomb rails,
For those who fear his physic, like his tales.
Why should his harmless censure seem offence?
Still let him eat, although at my expense,
And join the herd to Sense and Truth unknown,
Who dare not call their very thoughts their own,
And share with these applause, a godlike bribe,
In short, do anything, except prescribe:
For though in garb of Galen he appears,
His practice is not equal to his years.
Without improvement since he first began,
A young Physician, though an ancient Man
Now let me ceasePhysician, Parson, Dame,
Still urge your task, and if you can, defame.
The humble offerings of my Muse destroy,
And crush, oh! noble conquest! crush a Boy.
What though some silly girls have lovd the strain,
And kindly bade me tune my Lyre again;
What though some feeling, or some partial few,
Nay, Men of Taste and Reputation too,
Have deignd to praise the firstlings of my Muse
If you your sanction to the theme refuse,
If you your great protection still withdraw,
Whose Praise is Glory, and whose Voice is law!
Soon must I fall an unresisting foe,
A hapless victim yielding to the blow.
Thus Pope by Curl and Dennis was destroyed,
Thus Gray and Mason yield to furious Lloyd;
From Dryden, Milbourne tears the palm away,
And thus I fall, though meaner far than they.
As in the field of combat, side by side,
A Fabius and some noble Roman died.

George Gordon Byron's other poems:
  1. Churchills Grave
  2. On a Change of Masters at a Great Public School
  3. Lines Addressed to a Young Lady
  4. To the Earl of Clare
  5. To a Lady (This Band, which bound thy yellow hair)

 . Poem to print (Print)

: 3169

To English version