Elizabeth Carew

(1500 - ? / England)

Revenge Of Injuries - Poem by Elizabeth Carew

The fairest action of our human life
Is scorning to revenge an injury;
For who forgives without a further strife,
His adversary's heart to him doth tie.
And 'tis a firmer conquest truly said,
To win the heart, than overthrow the head.

If we a worthy enemy do find,
To yield to worth it must be nobly done;
But if of baser metal be his mind,
In base revenge there is no honour won.
Who would a worthy courage overthrow?
And who would wrestle with a worthless foe?

We say our hearts are great, and cannot yield;
Because they cannot yield, it proves them poor:
Great hearts are task'd beyond their power but seld
The weakest lion will the loudest roar.
Truth's school for certain doth this same allow,
High-heartedness doth sometimes teach to bow.

A noble heart doth teach a virtuous scorn -
To scorn to owe a duty over long;
To scorn to lie, to scorn to do a wrong;
To scorn to bear an injury in mind;
To scorn a freeborn heart slave-like to bind.

But if for wrongs we needs revenge must have,
Then be our vengeance of the noblest kind;
Do we his body from our fury save,
And let our hate prevail against our mind:
What can 'gainst him a greater vengeance be,
Than make his foe more worthy far than he?

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010

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