Lines To Harriet Wilson

Lady Caroline Lamb

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Harriet Wilson, shall I tell thee where,
Beside my being cleverer,
We differ?--thou wert hired to hold thy tongue,
Thou hast no right to do thy lovers wrong:
But I, whom none could buy or gain,
Who am as proud, girl, as thyself art vain,
And like thyself, or sooner like the wind,
Blow raging ever free and unconfin'd.
What should withhold my tongue with pen of steel,
The faults of those who have wrong'd me to reveal?
Why should I hide men's follies, whilst my own
Blaze like the gas along this talking town?
Is it being bitter to be too sincere?
Must we adulterate truth as they do beer?
I'll tell thee why then! as each has his price,
I have been bought at last--I am not ice:
Kindness and gratitude have chained my tongue,
From henceforth I will do no mortal wrong.
Prate those who please--laugh--censure who that will,
My mouth is sealed--my thoughts--my pen--are still.
In the meantime--we Lambs are seldom civil,
I wish thy book--not thee--at the Devil.

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