To The Detractor.

A poem by Robert Herrick

Where others love and praise my verses, still
Thy long black thumb-nail marks them out for ill:
A fellon take it, or some whitflaw come
For to unslate or to untile that thumb!
But cry thee mercy: exercise thy nails
To scratch or claw, so that thy tongue not rails:
Some numbers prurient are, and some of these
Are wanton with their itch; scratch, and 'twill please.

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