Not he that beats thee, or with sland'rous tongue
Gives thee ill language, doth thee any wrong;
Thine own false notions give the injury:
These slander, give the affront, and cudgel thee.
When words traduce, or blows the limbs torment,
Which in thy power it lies not to prevent,
This presently thou term'st an injury,
But giv'st no tolerable reason why.
Thou plead'st thy carcase, and good name are dear;
The wound goes to thy soul, that wounds thee there;
'Tis false, 'tis but a scratch; nor can it find
An entrance thither, or disturb thy mind;
Without thy own consent; an injury
To something else without, 'tis none to thee.
Thus when provok'd, thy own opinion blame,
'Tis that provokes, and causeth all the pain;
Wherefore beware, lest objects, such as these,
Gain thy assent too soon, with too much ease,
Lest fancied harms thy mind with grief affect,
Lest fancied bliss should gain too much respect,
Thus thou'lt get leisure, and a thinking time;
Thy notions with due measures to confine;
To add, to prune, to polish and refine.
Ellis Walker's Other Poems
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