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What makes the Pleader twist and tear
Statutes to wrong the rightful heir,
And bring the widow sorrow?
A fee! - What makes him change his tack,
Eat his own words, and swear white's black?
Another fee to-morrow.
A Curate?-chain’d to some dull spot,
Even at church he mourns his lot,
Repining while thanksgiving. 'Mid stupid clodpoles and their wives,
The Scholar's buried while he lives,
And dies without a living.
And what are Bishops :-hypocrites
Who preach against the world's delights
In purple and fine linen;
Who brand as crime, in humbler elves,
All vanities, while they themselves
Have palaces to sin in.
A Soldier?—What! a bravo paid
To make man-butchery a trade
A Jack-a-dandy varlet,
Who sells his liberty,- perchance
His very soul's inheritance
For feathers, lace, and scarlet!
A Sailor?-worse! he's doomed to trace
With treadmill drudgery the space
From foremast to the mizen;
A slave to the tyrannic main,
Till some kind bullet comes to brain
The brainless in his prison.
Physic:-_a freak of times and modes,
Which yearly old mistakes explodes
For new ones still absurder :
All slay their victims disappear,
That “killing is no murder."
A Poet?-To describe aright
His lofty hopes and abject plight,
The quickest tongue would lack words !
Still like a ropemaker, he twines
From morn to even lines on lines,
And still keeps going backwards.
Older and wiser grown, my strain
Was changed, and thus did I arraign
My crude and cynic sallies :
Railer!-like most satiric scribes,
Your world-condemning diatribes,
Smack less of truth than malice.
Abuse condemns not use all good
Perverted or misunderstood,
May generate all badness,
Reason itself—that gift divine,
To folly may be turn'd by wine,
By long excess to madness.
From the professions thus portray'd,
As prone to stain, corrupt, degrade,
Have sprung, for many ages,
All that the world with pride regards,
Our statesmen, patriots, heroes, bards,
Philanthropists and sages.
Not from our callings do we take
Our characters :-men's actions make
Or mar their reputations.
The good, the bad, the false, the true,
Would still be such, tho' all their crew
Should interchange vocations.
Whate'er the compass-box's hue,
Substance, or form—the needle's true,
Alike in calms or surges :
E'en thus the virtuous heart, whate’er
Its owner's plight or calling-ne'er
From honour's pole diverges.
DE A TH.
FATE! fortune! chance! whose blindness,
Hostility or kindness,
Play such strange freaks with human destinies,
Contrasting poor and wealthy,
The bless'd, the curs’d, the witless, and the wise,
Ye have a master-one
Who mars what ye have done,
Levelling all that move beneath the sun,
Take courage ye that languish