“The Young Author” (1743), from Samuel Johnson: The Complete English Poems:
When first the peasant, long inclin’d to roam,
Forsakes his rural seats and peaceful home,
Charm’d with the scene the smiling ocean yields,
He scorns the flow’ry vales and verdant fields;
Jocund he dances o’er the watery way,
While the breeze whispers, and the streamers play.
Joys insincere! thick clouds invade the skies,
Loud roars the tempest, high the billows rise;
Sick’ning with fear he longs to view the shore,
And vows to trust the faithless deep no more.
So the young author panting for a name,
And fir’d with pleasing hope of endless fame,
Intrusts his happiness to human kind,
More false, more cruel than the seas and wind.
“Toil on, dull croud, in extacy” he cries,
“For wealth or title, perishable prize;
While I those transitory blessings scorn,
Secure of praise from ages yet unborn.”
This thought once form’d, all council comes too late,
He plies the press, and hurries on his fate;
Swiftly he sees the imagin’d laurels spread,
And feels the unfading wreath surround his head.
Warn’d by another’s fate, vain youth be wise,
Those dreams were Settle’s once, and Ogilby’s.
The pamphlet spreads, incessant hisses rise,
To some retreat, the baffled writer flies;
Where no sour criticks snarl, nor sneers molest,
Safe from the keen lampoon and stinging jest;
There begs of heaven a less distinguish’d lot,
Glad to be hid, and proud to be forgot.