Reply to an Imitator of Horace Odes 3.2

posted by Otto Steinmayer.

Who strives to mount Parnassus' hill,
    And thence poetick Laurels bring,
Must first acquire due Force and Skill,
    Must fly with Swan's, or Eagle's, Wing.

Who Nature's Treasures would explore,
    Her Mysteries and Arcana know,
Must high, as lofty Newton, soar,
    Must stoop, as delving Woodward, low.

Who studies ancient Laws and Rites,
    Tongues, Arts and Arms, all History,
Must drudge like Selden, Days and Nights,
    And in the endless Labour dye.

Who travels in Religious Jars,
    (Truth mixt with Errors, Shade with Rays,)
Like Whiston, wanting Pyx and Stars,
    In Ocean wide or sinks, or strays.

But grant, our Heroe's Hopes, long Toil,
    And comprehensice Genius crown;
All Sciences, all Arts his Spoil,
    Yet what Reward, or what Renown?

Envy innate in vulgar Souls,
    Envy steps in, and stops his Rise;
Envy with poison'd Tarnish fouls
    His Lustre, and his Worth decrys.

He lives inglorious, or in want,
    To Colledge, and old Books, confin'd,
Instead of learn'd, he's call'd Pedant;
    Dunces advanc'd, he's left behind;
Yet left Content, a genuine Stoick He,
Great without Patron, rich without South-Sea!