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A Letter To A Friend,

Mary Barber 1685 – 1755

As in some wealthy, trading Town,
Where Riches raise to fure Renown,
The Man, with ample Sums in Store,
More than enough, yet wanting more,
Bent on Abundance, first secures
His Rails, his Windows, and his Doors,
With many a Chain, and Bolt, and Pin.
To keep Rogues out, and Riches in;
Ranges his Iron Chests in View,
And paints his Window Bars with Blue;
Discounts your Notes, receives your Rents,
A Banker now, to all Intents.

Suppose his more successful Labours
Should raise him high above his Neighbours:
As sure, as if Apollo said it,
They'll all combine to blast his Credit:
But if, in solid Wealth secure,
Their vain Assaults he can endure;
Their Malice but augments his Gain,
And swells the Store it meant to drain.

The Case in ev'ry Point's the same,
In Funds of Wealth, and Funds of Fame:
Tho' you're secur'd by ev'ry Fence
Of solid Worth, and Wit, and Sense;
In vain are all your utmost Pains,
Your Virtue's Bars, and Wisdom's Chains;
Nor Worth, nor Wit, nor Sense, combin'd,
Can bar the Malice of the Mind.

The firmest, and the fairest Fame
Is ever Envy's surest Aim:
But if it stand her Rage, unmov'd,
Like Gold, in fiery Furnace prov'd;
Unbiass'd Truth, your Virtues Friend,
Will more exalt you in the End.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:10 min read
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Mary Barber

Mary Barber, poet, was a member of Swift's circle. more…

All Mary Barber poems | Mary Barber Books

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