ABSTRACT

The hearts of men ignoble win not praise ; If so thou canst consort not thou with such, And take not counsel with the ill-disposed, But, if thou seekest it, incline to good. The pious will not call him bountiful Whose bounty is designed to gain applause, While men will hold the thankless flatterer As naught. The hard man trembleth being friendless. The wise man taketh not the slack as guide, And if thou ask the indolent to help thee Thou art no judge of men and lack'st ambition. Beware of thinking highly of thyself, And be not fierce because thou hast a throne. When one ill-natured groweth poor and vile He layeth all to fortune and will spend His years in indolence,1 bewailing fortune, Is not possessed of rede and understanding, And is no ornament to any throne. The simple deprivation of all wealth Will ruin him in heart and soul and brain ; He will take pride in want and evil nature, And hold his head up high in his unwisdom, His lack of goods, of knowledge, rede, achievement, Of Faith and of all thankfulness to God. May both your nights and days be prosperous, The marrow of your foemen's lives plucked out."