To James Norton Esq

Think you I have not skill to gather gold,
If I could love it as some others do?
Or that I lack the spirit of a bold
And resolute man in any cause that’s true,
Because I scorn to juggle with yon crew
Of politics schemers? Let the truth be told:
Whatever I can value, I can mould
Right deftly to my ends, and boldly too.
“But fame he sought not through a gainful hand”
(This of my being let future tell),
“Nor through the arts of popular command;
But in retirement, where the muses dwell,
That his life’s legacy might be—a well
Pierian, in a wide and thirsty land. ”

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