Poem by Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)




On Censure

 

    Ye wise, instruct me to endure
    An evil, which admits no cure;
    Or, how this evil can be borne,
    Which breeds at once both hate and scorn.
    Bare innocence is no support,
    When you are tried in Scandal's court.
    Stand high in honour, wealth, or wit;
    All others, who inferior sit,
    Conceive themselves in conscience bound
    To join, and drag you to the ground.
    Your altitude offends the eyes
    Of those who want the power to rise.
    The world, a willing stander-by,
    Inclines to aid a specious lie:
    Alas! they would not do you wrong;
    But all appearances are strong.
        Yet whence proceeds this weight we lay
    On what detracting people say!
    For let mankind discharge their tongues
    In venom, till they burst their lungs,
    Their utmost malice cannot make
    Your head, or tooth, or finger ache;
    Nor spoil your shape, distort your face,
    Or put one feature out of place;
    Nor will you find your fortune sink
    By what they speak or what they think;
    Nor can ten hundred thousand lies
    Make you less virtuous, learn'd, or wise.
        The most effectual way to balk
    Their malice, is - to let them talk.

 

 

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Poetry by Editorial Team The PoetBay support member heart!
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Written on 2021-03-29 at 00:05

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josephus The PoetBay support member heart!
I can only echo Larry! Artfully Brilliant
2021-04-02


Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
Brilliant! And true!
2021-03-30