You say I've been bad when I've been good,
doing what angels blush to think and devils never should;
but how can you figure the dimensions of what is hidden,
the proportions of virtue that in this world are forbidden?
So you ply for apologies to be made,
contrition for righteous mischief that would have me prostrate laid.
And that fiction I will for your distress shortly write,
to take away from kith and kin all misgivings and fright.
But know, dear, that taking tigers by their twitching tail,
does invite you down a jaunting jungle trail,
that by degree may take you places atavistic wild,
until you've found yourself alone with nature's capricious child.
But lest you, fainting fair, think you've into clutches evil fallen,
know that Providence does its ways now by the cross throw all in,
and in each deed that seeming is so baneful bad,
God does His best work perform, e'en though He seems so crazy mad.
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