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The Good Minister

Illustration 221

The Good Minister

An  honest minister disgrac'd,

(Such are not easily replac'd,)

Found the sweet leisure in his fields,

To virtuous minds retirement yields.

The king, who had his foes believ'd,

The loss of him ere long perceiv'd.

To bring him back again intent,

To his retreat alone he went:

"My friend, you must return with me,"

He said, "your value now I see."

"Forgive me," the Recluse replied;

"Here I determine to abide.

By sad experience well I know,

Were I to court again to go,

And all my best endeavors do,

To serve my country, sir, and you,

Art and intrigue so much prevail,

Again I certainly should fail;

Against your will and approbation,

And the good wishes of the nation,

You'd find yourself compell'd to yield,

And I once more must quit the field."

The honest man, who will not bend

To circumstance, or condescend

To pay his court to knave or fool,

Will never long a nation rule.

Illustration 222