On Being Charged with Writing Incorrectly

I'm incorrect: the learned say
That I write well, but not their way.
For this to every star I bend:
From their dull method heaven defend,
Who labour up the hill of fame,
And pant and struggle for a name!
My free-born thoughts I'll not confine,
Though all Parnassus could be mine.
No, let my genius have its way,
My genius I will still obey:
Nor with their stupid rules control
The sacred pulse that beats within my soul.
I from my very heart despise
These mighty dull, these mighty wise,
Who were the slaves of Busby's nod,
And learned their methods from his rod.
Shall bright Apollo drudge at school,
And whimper till he grows a fool?
Apollo, to the learned coy,
In nouns and verbs finds little joy.
The tuneful Sisters still he leads
To silver streams, and flowery meads.
He glories in an artless breast,
And loves the goddess Nature best.
Let Dennis haunt me with his spite;
Let me read Dennis every night,
Or any punishment sustain,
To 'scape the labour of the brain.
Let the dull think, or let 'em mend
The trifling errors they pretend;
Writing's my pleasure, which my Muse
Would not for all their glory lose:
With transport I the pen employ,
And every line reveals my joy.
No pangs of thought I undergo,
My words descend, my numbers flow;
Though disallowed, my friend, I swear
I would not think, I would not care,
If I a pleasure can impart,
Or to my own, or thy dear heart,
If I thy gentle passions move,
'Tis all I ask of fame or love.
This to the very learnèd say,
If they are angry—why, they may:
I from my very soul despise
These mighty dull, these mighty wise.
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