On Ink

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I am jet black, as you may see,
The son of pitch and gloomy night;
Yet all that know me will agree,
I'm dead except I live in light.

Sometimes in panegyric high,
Like lofty Pindar, I can soar,
And raise a virgin to the sky,
Or sink her to a filthy ----.

My blood this day is very sweet,
To-morrow of a bitter juice;
Like milk, 'tis cried about the street,
And so applied to different use.

Most wondrous is my magic power:
For with one color I can paint;
I'll make the devil a saint this hour,
Next make a devil of a saint.

Through distant regions I can fly,
Provide me but with paper wings;
And fairly show a reason why
There should be quarrels among kings;

And, after all, you'll think it odd,
When learned doctors will dispute,
That I should point the word of God,
And show where they can best confute.

Let lawyers bawl and strain their throats
'Tis I that must the lands convey,
And strip their clients to their coats;
Nay, give their very souls away.