In earnestness I made to thee this offer;
What then provokes thy rude hilarity?
Forgive! the thought, how many mice John Bradburn
Aims to inveigle in a single trap,
Just now appeared to me quite ludicrous.
What meanest thou? I understand thee not.
The better thou art understood by me.
By my acceptance of thy offered bribe
Thou mean'st to place me as a renegade
And wretched knave before my countrymen;
Thou mean'st to free thee of a bold opponent,
Who e'en in fetters is to thee a terror,—
Thou meanest to efface my name inscribed
Upon thy daughter's heart as undeserving
Her love, her admiration, her esteem.
And what is the equivalent thou givest?
An insult couched as promise in disguise,
When not the wealth of all the earth can buy
From me my countrymen's regard and friendship,
My zeal for freedom and thy daughter's love.