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   Chapter 19 No.19

The Poems of Jonathan Swift, D.D., Volume 1 By Jonathan Swift Characters: 793

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03

Then tell, dear favourite Muse!

What serpent's that which still resorts,

Still lurks in palaces and courts?

Take thy unwonted flight,

And on the terrace light.

See where she lies!

See how she rears her head,

And rolls about her dreadful eyes,

To drive all virtue out, or look it dead!

'Twas sure this basilisk sent Temple thence,

And though as some ('tis said) for t

heir defence

Have worn a casement o'er their skin,

So wore he his within,

Made up of virtue and transparent innocence;

And though he oft renew'd the fight,

And almost got priority of sight,

He ne'er could overcome her quite,

In pieces cut, the viper still did reunite;

Till, at last, tired with loss of time and ease,

Resolved to give himself, as well as country, peace.

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