Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. III. Addison to Blake
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. III. The Eighteenth Century: Addison to Blake
 
Horace, Book IV, Ode IX
By Jonathan Swift (1667–1745)
 
Addressed to Archbishop King, 1718.

VIRTUE conceal’d within our breast
Is inactivity at best:
But never shall the Muse endure
To let your virtues lie obscure;
Or suffer Envy to conceal        5
Your labours for the public weal.
Within your breast all wisdom lies,
Either to govern or advise;
Your steady soul preserves her frame,
In good and evil times, the same.        10
Pale Avarice and lurking Fraud,
Stand in your sacred presence awed;
Your hand alone from gold abstains,
Which drags the slavish world in chains.
  Him for a happy man I own,        15
Whose fortune is not overgrown;
And happy he who wisely knows
To use the gifts that Heaven bestows;
Or, if it please the powers divine,
Can suffer want and not repine.        20
The man who infamy to shun
Into the arms of death would run;
That man is ready to defend,
With life, his country or his friend.
 
 
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