THOU whom chance may hither lead,
Be thou clad in russet weed,
Be thou deckt in silken stole,
Grave these maxims on thy soul.
Life is but a day at most,
Sprung from night, in darkness lost:
Hope not sunshine every hour,
Fear not clouds will always lour.
Happiness is but a name,
Make content and ease thy aim,
Ambition is a meteor-gleam;
Fame, an idle restless dream;
Peace, the tend’rest flow’r of spring;
Pleasures, insects on the wing;
Those that sip the dew alone—
Make the butterflies thy own;
Those that would the bloom devour—
Crush the locusts, save the flower.
For the future be prepar’d,
Guard wherever thou can’st guard;
But thy utmost duly done,
Welcome what thou can’st not shun.
Follies past, give thou to air,
Make their consequence thy care:
Keep the name of Man in mind,
And dishonour not thy kind.
Reverence with lowly heart
Him, whose wondrous work thou art;
Keep His Goodness still in view,
Thy trust, and thy example, too.
Stranger, go! Heaven be thy guide!
Quod the Beadsman of Nidside.