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Poem by Jonathan Swift
I LEST it may more quarrels breed, I will never hear you read. II By disputing, I will never, To convince you once endeavour. III When a paradox you stick to, I will never contradict you. IV When I talk and you are heedless, I will show no anger needless. V When your speeches are absurd, I will ne'er object a word. VI When you furious argue wrong, I will grieve and hold my tongue. VII Not a jest or humorous story Will I ever tell before ye: To be chidden for explaining, When you quite mistake the meaning. VIII Never more will I suppose, You can taste my verse or prose. IX You no more at me shall fret, While I teach and you forget. X You shall never hear me thunder, When you blunder on, and blunder. XI Show your poverty of spirit, And in dress place all your merit; Give yourself ten thousand airs: That with me shall break no squares. XII Never will I give advice, Till you please to ask me thrice: Which if you in scorn reject, 'Twill be just as I expect. Thus we both shall have our ends, And continue special friends.
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