Is Death , when evil against good has fought

IV

Is Death , when evil against good has fought
With such fell mastery that a man may dare
By deeds the blackest purpose to lay bare —
Is Death, for one to that condition brought,
For him, or anyone, the thing that ought
To be most dreaded? Lawgivers, beware,
Lest, capital pains remitting till ye spare
The murderer, ye, by sanction to that thought
Seemingly given, debase the general mind;
Tempt the vague will tried standards to disown,
Nor only palpable restraints unbind,
But upon Honour's head disturb the crown,
Whose absolute rule permits not to withstand
In the weak love of life his least command.
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