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   Chapter 5 No.5

The Poems of Jonathan Swift, D.D., Volume 1 By Jonathan Swift Characters: 1052

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03

In vain then would the Muse the multitude advise,

Whose peevish knowledge thus perversely lies

In gath'ring follies from the wise;

Rather put on thy anger and thy spite,

And some kind power for once dispense

Through the dark mass, the dawn of so much sense,

To make them understand, and feel me when I write;

The muse and I no more revenge desire,

Each line shall stab, shall blast, like daggers and like fire;

Ah, Britain, land of angels! which of all thy sins,

(Say, hapless isle, although


t is a bloody list we know,)

Has given thee up a dwelling-place to fiends?

Sin and the plague ever abound

In governments too easy, and too fruitful ground;

Evils which a too gentle king,

Too flourishing a spring,

And too warm summers bring:

Our British soil is over rank, and breeds

Among the noblest flowers a thousand pois'nous weeds,

And every stinking weed so lofty grows,

As if 'twould overshade the Royal Rose;

The Royal Rose, the glory of our morn,

But, ah! too much without a thorn.

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