Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Lord Byron's Quill

Oh! Nature’s noblest gift – my gray goose-quill!
Slave of my thoughts, obedient to my will,
Torn from thy parent bird to form a pen,
That mighty instrument of little men!
The pen! foredoom’d to aid the mental throes
Of brains that labour, big with verse and prose,
Though nymphs forsake, and critics may deride,
The lover’s solace and the author’s pride.
What wits! what poets dost thou daily raise!
Condemn’d at length to be forgotten quite,
With all the pages which ‘t was thine to write.
But thou, at least, mine own especial pen!
Once laid aside, but now assumed again,
Out task complete, like Hamlet’s shall be free;
Though spurn’d by others, yet beloved by me:
Then let us soar to-day;  no common theme,
No eastern vision, no distemper’d dream
Inspires – our path, though full of thorns, is plain,
Smooth be the verse, and easy be the strain.

Lord Byron
English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, A Satire (1809).

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Palimpsest. Anyone who has a hankering for it ought to try writing and reading his own verse. It can be a bracing, discombobulating experience. I took a shot at reciting my own verse about a decade ago, and was duly thanked for saying things I didn't know I was saying. That ended my unpaid versifying career, although once a year I'll buy the collected works of somebody or other.

    The editing of verse for meter, rhyme, physical appearance in print, etc. is--trust me--work. Jack/USA