Maria, could Horace have guess’d
What honour awaited his ode
To his own little volume address’d,
The honour which you have bestow’d;
Who have traced it in characters here,
So elegant, even, and neat,
He had laugh’d at the critical sneer
Which he seems to have trembled to meet.
And sneer, if you please, he had said,
A nymph shall hereafter arise,
Who shall give me, when you are all dead,
The glory your malice denies;
Shall dignity give to my lay,
Although but a mere bagatelle;
And even a poet shall say,
Nothing ever was written so well.