Percy Bysshe Shelley

(1792-1822 / Horsham / England)

Fragment: What Men Gain Fairly - Poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley

What men gain fairly -- that they should possess,
And children may inherit idleness,
From him who earns it—This is understood;
Private injustice may be general good.
But he who gains by base and armed wrong,
Or guilty fraud, or base compliances,
May be despoiled; even as a stolen dress
Is stripped from a convicted thief; and he
Left in the nakedness of infamy.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 1, 2010



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