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Lord Byron
Hours of Idleness - 1807 edition


In law an infant,* and in years a boy,

In mind a slave to every vicious joy,

From every sense of shame and virtue wean'd,

In lies an adept, in deceit a fiend;

Vers'd in hypocrisy, while yet a child,

Fickle as wind, of inclinations wild;

Woman his dupe, his heedless friend a tool,

Old in the world, though scarcely broke from school;

Damætas ran through all the maze of sin,

And found the goal, when others just begin;

Ev'n still conflicting passions shake his soul,

And bid him drain the dregs of pleasure's bowl;

But, pall'd with vice, he breaks his former chain,

And, what was once his bliss, appears his bane.


* Byron's note:   In Law, every person is an infant, who has not attained the age of 21.

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