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A shadow to amuse mankind,
Virtue despises human scorn,
Sometimes, the air of scandal to maintain,
Thou art the state-trap of the law,
These are too hardened in offence,
Thou art no shame to truth and honesty,
Who suffer by oppressive injury.
Falls back where first the motion was begun; And he who for no crime shall on thy brows appear Bears less reproach than they who placed him there.
But if contempt is on thy face entailed,
Disgrace itself shall be ashamed;
To blast the man it has defamed.
Thou bugbear of the law, stand up and speak,
Thy long misconstrued silence break;
So full of fault and yet so void of fear;
Let all mankind be told for what.
Tell them he stands exalted there
Tell them that this is his reward
And worse is yet for him prepared, Because his foolish virtue was so nice As not to sell his friends, according to his friends' advice.
And thus he's an example made,
That for the time to come they may
More willingly their friends betray;
But at a loss to find his guilt,
FROM THE CAMPAIGN
Behold in awful march and dread array
But, O my Muse, what numbers wilt thou find To sing the furious troops in battle joined ! Methinks I hear the drum's tumultuous sound The victor's shouts and dying groans confound, The dreadful burst of cannon rend the skies, And all the thunder of the battle rise! 'Twas then great Marlborough's mighty soul was proved, That, in the shock of charging hosts unmoved, Amidst confusion, horror, and despair, Examined all the dreadful scenes of war: In peaceful thought the field of death surveyed, To fainting squadrons sent the timely aid, Inspired repulsed battalions to engage, And taught the doubtful battle where to rage. So when an angel by divine command With rising tempests shakes a guilty land, Such as of late o'er pale Britannia passed, Calm and serene he drives the furious blast, And, pleased th' Almighty's orders to perform, Rides in the whirlwind, and directs the storm.
Soon as the evening shades prevail,
Confirm the tidings as they roll,
What though in solemn silence all
TO A CHILD OF QUALITY FIVE YEARS OLD
THE AUTHOR FORTY
Lords, knights, and squires, the numerous band
That wear the fair Miss Mary's fetters,
To show their passions by their letters.
Lest those bright eyes that cannot read
The power they have to be obeyed.
Nor quality nor reputation
Forbid me yet my flame to tell;
And I may write till she can spell.
For while she makes her silk-worms beds
With all the tender things I swear,
In papers round her baby's hair,
She may receive and own my flame;
For though the strictest prudes should know it,
And I for an unhappy poet.
The lines some younger rival sends,
And we shall still continue friends;
When she begins to comprehend it.
TO A LADY
SHE REFUSING TO CONTINUE A DISPUTE WITH ME, AND LEAVING
ME IN THE ARGUMENT
Spare, generous victor, spare the slave
Who did unequal war pursue,
In being overcome by you.
My heart was by my tongue belied,
How much I argued on your side.
Might have sustained an open fight:
Your eyes are always in the right.
On reason's force with beauty's joined ?
I must at once be deaf and blind.
I only to the fight aspired;
Was all the glory I desired.