His Defiance to Envy
by Thomas Middleton (1580-1627)
Envy, which mak’st thyself in common guise,
To haunt deservers, and to hunt desarts;
Hard-soft, cold-hot, well-evil, foolish-wise,
Miscontrarieties, agreeing parts;
Avaunt, I say! I’ll anger thee enough,
And fold thy fiery eyes in thy smazky snuff.
Defiance, resolution, and neglects,
True trine of bars against thy false assault,
Defies, resolves defiance, and rejects
Thy interest to claim the smallest fault:
Thou lawless landlady, poor prodigal,
Sour solace, credit’s crack, fear’s festival!
More angry satire-days I’ll muster up
Than thou canst challenge letters in thy name;
My nigrum true-born ink no more shall sup
Thy stained blemish, character’d in blame:
My pen’s two nebs shall turn into a fork,
Chasing old Envy from so young a work:
I, but the author’s mouth, bid thee avaunt!
He more defies thy hate, thy hunt, thy haunt.