ON

BACKBITING AND FALSEHOOD

OH Falsehood! thou'rt a ghostly mother,
When thou and thy friends sit together;
Your whole intent is truth to smother,
And scheme deceit,
And vex your neighbours ev'ry day
Both air and late.

Your suspicion makes a compound,
And requisite wheron to found
Your villainy, to kill and wound,
And make a prey
Of all who are within your reach,
Both night and day.

Amongst the vulgar ones you'll see,
Some who have great vivacity
In telling news: and, though they lie,
They don't think shame,
If they their neighbour can expose,
And black his name.

They little think, each lie they tell
Keeps them upon the road to Hell;
And though they backbite ne'er so snell,
Ev'n to the quick,
It only tells them they are true sons
Of the Old Nick.

But what a coward must he be,
Who man attacks, when he can't see,
And wounds his name? Though he don't die,
'Tis all the same,
If by the world he be despis'd
By this bad name.

Under some dark, unhallow'd shade
Doth rest this damnable curst weed;
News tellers and backbiters feed,
Each day they flourish,
And spread their roots o'er all the earth,
New ills to nourish.

No man should surely use his skill
To propogate or gain ill-will
Of any neighbour, though he still
Should him excell
In any grace or common gift,
That with men dwell.

If two together chance to meet,
They of a third will freely speak,
And tell his faults; syne make an eek
To his disgrace,
And tell some lies, for want of truth,
Him to debase.

We see some men, without control,
Thrust in their heads at ev'ry hole,
To hear what's said by ev'ry soul
That he comes near;
He in his budget that puts up,
Syne off he'll steer:

And in his way himself will bless,
That he so luckily did miss;
He stood till he was like to piss,
He was so eager,
To hear and know all that was said;
O worthless beggar!

Away he trudges with great speed,
With a full packet in his head;
His vanity doth him fast lead
To this sad evil;
At last grim Death shall stop his breath,
And ears that heard well.

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