God! How have I sinn’d, that thy wrath’s furious rod, this fellow, chooseth me?

From John Donne’s Satire 4 – a visit to the court.  At least quarantine keeps you from these sorts of social strappado-ings:

towards me did run
A thing more strange, than on Nile’s slime the sun
E’er bred, or all which into Noah’s ark came;
A thing which would have posed Adam to name; 20
Stranger than seven antiquaries’ studies,
Than Afric’s monsters, Guiana’s rarities;
Stranger than strangers; one, who for a Dane,
In the Danes’ massacre had sure been slain,
If he had lived then; and without help dies, 25
When next the ’prentices ’gainst strangers rise;
One, whom the watch, at noon, lets scarce go by;
One, to whom th’ examining justice sure would cry,
‘Sir, by your priesthood, tell me what you are.’
His clothes were strange, though coarse, and black, though bare; 30
Sleeveless his jerkin was, and it had been
Velvet, but ’twas now—so much ground was seen—
Become tufftaffaty; and our children shall
See it plain rash awhile, then nought at all.
The thing hath travell’d, and, faith, speaks all tongues, 35
And only knoweth what to all states belongs.
Made of th’ accents and best phrase of all these,
He speaks one language. If strange meats displease,
Art can deceive, or hunger force my taste,
But pedants’ motley tongue, soldiers’ bombast, 40
Mountebanks’ drug-tongue, nor the terms of law
Are strong enough preparatives, to draw
Me to bear this, yet I must be content
With his tongue, in his tongue, called compliment;
In which he can win widows, and pay scores, 45
Make men speak treason, cozen subtlest whores,
Outflatter favourites, or outlie either
Jovius, or Surius, or both together.
He names me, and comes to me; I whisper, ‘God!
How have I sinn’d, that Thy wrath’s furious rod, 50
This fellow, chooseth me?’

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