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   Chapter 25 No.25

The Poems of Jonathan Swift, D.D., Volume 1 By Jonathan Swift Characters: 1403

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03


Pardon, ye great unknown, and far-exalted men,

The wild excursions of a youthful pen;

Forgive a young and (almost) virgin Muse,

Whom blind and eager curiosity

(Yet curiosity, they say,

Is in her sex a crime needs no excuse)

Has forced to grope her uncouth way,

After a mighty light that leads her wandering eye:

No wonder then she quits the narrow path of sense

For a dear ramble through impertinence;

Impertinence! the scurvy of mankind.

And all we fools, who are the greater part of it,

Though we be of two different factions still,

Both the good-natured and the ill,

Yet wheresoe'er you look, you'll always find

We join, like flies and wasps, in buzzing

about wit.

In me, who am of the first sect of these,

All merit, that transcends the humble rules

Of my own dazzled scanty sense,

Begets a kinder folly and impertinence

Of admiration and of praise.

And our good brethren of the surly sect,

Must e'en all herd us with their kindred fools:

For though possess'd of present vogue, they've made

Railing a rule of wit, and obloquy a trade;

Yet the same want of brains produces each effect.

And you, whom Pluto's helm does wisely shroud

From us, the blind and thoughtless crowd,

Like the famed hero in his mother's cloud,

Who both our follies and impertinences see,

Do laugh perhaps at theirs, and pity mine and me.

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