The Scourge of Villainy
By John Marston

To Everlasting Oblivion        

Thou mighty gulf, insatiate cormorant!
Deride me not, though I seem petulant
    To fall into thy chops.  Let others pray
    For ever their fair poems flourish may,
But as for me, hungry Oblivion
Devour me quick.  Accept my orison,
    My earnest prayers, which do importune thee
    With gloomy shade of thy still empery
    To veil both me and my rude poesy.
Far worthier lines, in silence of thy state,
Do sleep securely, free from love or hate;
From which this living ne'er can be exempt,
But whilst it breathes, will hate and fury tempt.
Then close his eyes with thy all-dimming hand,
Which not right-glorious actions can withstand;
Peace, hateful tongues; I now in silence pace,
Unless some hound do wake me from my place.
    I with this sharp, yet well-meant poesy
    Will sleep secure, right free from injury
    Of cankered hate, or rankest villany.

The English Poets, Vol. I. Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.
London: Macmillan and Co., 1880. 546-7.


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