Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A STATESMAN, by BAYARD TAYLOR

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A STATESMAN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: He knew the mask of principle to wear
Last Line: Chief eunuch, were but ours the sultan's court!
Alternate Author Name(s): Taylor, James Bayard
Subject(s): Duplicity; Politics & Government; Selfishness; Deceit

HE knew the mask of principle to wear,
And power accept while seeming to decline:
So cunningly he wrought, with tools so fine,
Setting his courses with so frank an air,
(Yet most secure when seeming most to dare,)
He did deceive us all: with mien benign
His malice smiled, his cowardice the sign
Of courage took, his selfishness grew fair,
So deftly could his foiled ambition show
As modest acquiescence. Now, it is clear
What man he is, -- how false his high report;
Mean to the friend, caressing to the foe;
Plotting the mischief which he feigns to fear:
Chief Eunuch, were but ours the Sultan's court!

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