WHO HAD BEEN MUCH ABUSED
IN MANY INVETERATE LIBELS
The greatest monarch may be stabb'd by night
And fortune help the murderer in his flight;
The vilest ruffian may commit a rape,
Yet safe from injured innocence escape;
And calumny, by working under ground,
Can, unrevenged, the greatest merit wound.
What's to be done? Shall wit and learning choose
To live obscure, and have no fame to lose?
By Censure frighted out of Honour's road,
Nor dare to use the gifts by Heaven bestow'd?
Or fearless enter in through Virtue's gate,
And buy distinction at the dearest rate.
[Footnote 1: See ante, p. 160, the poem entitled "On Censure."--W. E. B..]
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