When God created thee, one would believe

When God created thee, one would believe
He said the same as to the snake of Eve:
‘To human race antipathy declare,
'Twixt them and thee be everlasting war.’
But oh! the sequel of the sentence dread,
And whilst you bruise their heel, beware your head.
Nor think thy weakness shall be thy defence,
The female scold's protection in offence.
Sure 'tis as fair to beat who cannot fight,
As 'tis to libel those who cannot write.
And if thou draw'st thy pen to aid the law,
Others a cudgel, or a rod, may draw.
If none with vengeance yet thy crimes pursue,
Or give thy manifold affronts their due;
If limbs unbroken, skin without a stain,
Unwhipped, unblanketed, unkicked, unslain,
That wretched little carcase you retain,
The reason is, not that the world wants eyes,
But thou'rt so mean, they see, and they despise:
When fretful porcupine, with rancorous will,
From mounted back shoots forth a harmless quill,
Cool the spectators stand; and all the while
Upon the angry little monster smile.
Thus 'tis with thee:—whilst impotently safe,
You strike unwounding, we unhurt can laugh.
‘Who but must laugh, this bully when he sees,
A puny insect shivering at a breeze?’
One over-matched by every blast of wind,
Insulting and provoking all mankind.
Is this the thing to keep mankind in awe,
‘To make those tremble who escape the law?’
Is this the ridicule to live so long,
‘The deathless satire and immortal song?’
No: like thy self-blown praise, thy scandal flies;
And, as we're told of wasps, it stings and dies.
If none do yet return th' intended blow,
You all your safety to your dullness owe:
But whilst that armour thy poor corpse defends,
'Twill make thy readers few, as are thy friends:
Those, who thy nature loathed, yet loved thy art,
Who liked thy head, and yet abhorred thy heart:
Chose thee to read, but never to converse,
And scorned in prose him whom they prized in verse:
Even they shall now their partial error see,
Shall shun thy writings like thy company;
And to thy books shall ope their eyes no more
Than to thy person they would do their door.
Nor thou the justice of the world disown,
That leaves thee thus an outcast and alone:
For though in law to murder be to kill,
In equity the murder's in the will:
Then whilst with coward-hand you stab a name,
And try at least t'assassinate our fame,
Like the first bold assassin's be thy lot,
Ne'er be thy guilt forgiven, or forgot;
But, as thou hat'st, be hated by mankind,
And with the emblem of thy crooked mind
Marked on thy back, like Cain, by God's own hand,
Wander, like him, accursèd through the land.
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