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Short poem

Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

Against Evil Company

              1Why should I join with those in Play,
              2    In whom I've no delight,
              3Who curse and swear, but never pray,
              4    Who call ill Names, and fight.

              5I hate to hear a wanton Song,
              6    Their Words offend my Ears:
              7I should not dare defile my Tongue
              8    With Language such as theirs.

              9Away from Fools I'll turn my Eyes,
            10    Nor with the Scoffers go;
            11I would be walking with the Wise,
            12    That wiser I may grow.

            13From one rude Boy that's us'd to mock
            14    Ten learn the wicked Jest;
            15One sickly Sheep infects the Flock,
            16    And poysons all the rest.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: I. Watts, Divine Songs Attempted in Easy Language for the Use of CHILDREN (London: M. Lawrence, 1715), Song XXI, p. 30. See facsimile reproduction, with introduction by J. H. P. Pafford (London: Oxford University Press, 1971), p. 178. PR 3763 W37 A65 1971 Robarts Library.
First publication date: 1715
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1998.
Recent editing: 2:2002/3/6

Rhyme: abab

Other poems by Isaac Watts