The crow may bathe his coal-black wings in mire
“The crow may bathe his coal-black wings in mire
And unperceived fly with the filth away,
But if the like the snow-white swan desire,
The stain upon his silver down will stay.
Poor grooms are sightless night, kings glorious day.
Gnats are unnoted wheresoe’er they fly,
But eagles gazed upon with every eye.
This helpless smoke of words doth me no right
“Out, idle words, servants to shallow fools,
Unprofitable sounds, weak arbitrators!
Busy yourselves in skill-contending schools;
Debate where leisure serves with dull debaters;
To trembling clients be you mediators.
For me, I force not argument a straw,
Since that my case is past the help of law.
“In vain I rail at Opportunity,
At Time, at Tarquin, and uncheerful Night.
In vain I cavil with mine infamy.
In vain I spurn at my confirmed despite.
This helpless smoke of words doth me no right.
The remedy indeed to do me good
Is to let forth my foul defilèd blood.