A Plea for Humility

It is your way but you should know the game
Could prove the bane of your presumpt'ous fame
Tho' artful your locution seems to be,
The deception's found by discovery
Of its vainly hidden monotony.
All lost in exuberant metaphor,
Those immodest words that want of sense
Come to attract, in their sweet eloquence
The others so weak, the minds to possess.
As critic of men, Pope alludes to this,
A vice of yours, and not simply suggests:
"To speak tho' sure with seeming diffidence."
And so for all the future brings the test.
Must I entreat your heart with eloquence
To find some vestige of a humbleness?
To bet you'd change I'd not invest my faith,
Although, in humble deference to a truth
I'll happily disown my prejudice.
Unlikely as, to me the prospect seems,
You may bring to another happiness.

Copr. 1981