To One of the Counsel Who Pleaded for Thomas Paine


The words of this Record arraign
A Libeller — one Thomas Paine;
Whom you are to defend:
But you , that scorn your words to mince,
" Assure us that a certain Prince
Is your admiring Friend.

" That your sagacious mind foresaw
The Libel ours (in Fact and Law)
When Counsel for the Dean;
That Murray , when that stone was laid,
With you as with a kitten play'd;
But you have chang'd the scene.

" That Orators, like you , renown'd,
If limb and wind are tight and sound,
For Hell itself should plead;
And be as fierce, and be as loud,
And of their Client be as proud,
As if the Angels fee'd.

" That you , as long as you have throat,
For quoting-sake, will ever quote
The lines — that sound the best;
That Milton's prose you 'll tune again,
Because the Senate heard in vain,
Though you the words impress'd.

" You tell us " Libel" is a word
That we are piping, as a bird,
Without a definition:
But, if a thinking man should say,
" I think all Kings are birds of prey,"
It could be no Sedition:

" That, as a kind of legal thing,
You own'd the People had a King;
But Nature made us even:
And this you said (though George's Heir,
The dearest of your Friends, was there)
In Chapel of St. Stephen .

" At last, as if " to murder sleep ,"
To Sacred History you leap,
Familiar and profane.
But, as 'tis twice the second hour
That you have had us in your power,
A word — of Thomas Paine! "
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