ON

EMULATION

FEW men upon this earth are,
Who have not a desire
To have themselves distinguished,
And known both far and near.

The poor Mechanic, ev'n the men
By charity supported,
Strive their admirers to acquire,
And are therewith comforted.

All the pre-em'nence that one man
Above another has,
Must spring from diff'rent qualities,
Which that man doth possess:

These qualities may be reduc'd,
And to these three confin'd;
Namely, to fortune, body, and
The qual'ties of the mind;

The first of these three must consist
In riches or in blood,
Which are not properly our own,
But upon us bestow'd.

The next is beauty, health, or strength,
Which nearer are of kin;
And, like the former, only are
By Nature to us giv'n.

The third is what regards the mind,
And has it's proper rise,
From knowledge and a virt'ous life,
Which we should not despise:

This more essential is to man,
And more united close,
Than any of the other two;
Because it still endures.

The man who has a fortune got,
And riches in great store,
Ought not, for that, to be preferr'd,
To virt'ous men, though poor.

Yet still we see the men of wealth
A shining figure make;
They're by most of the world carress'd
Though virtue they forsake;

Yet virtue surely is the source,
Whence honour should arise:
Men only should be honour'd while
They virtue do practice.

There's often intimation made,
When Great Men titles get,
That they do qualities possess,
And that they're men of merit.

His Majesty is only giv'n
To Kings upon the throne;
His Holiness is ascrib'd
Unto the Pope alone.

A death-bed makes all men alike,
And shews the emptiness
Of titles, pomp, and ev'ry thing
That is not virtuous:

In dread suspense upon the state
He soon must enter on,
And terrifi'd, he stands aghast
To think his time's ne'er done!

What 'vails it then that he has been,
Or rich, or great in power?
His riches or his greatness can't
Protect him from that hour!

What though he has a Conqu'ror been,
And kingdoms great subdu'd,
Against the King of Terrors, he
Dares not lift his sword.

And though he had old Samson's strength,
His life it could not save
From that devouring monster, Death,
Or from the gloomy Grave!

'Tis Virtue then and it alone,
Can only stand the test;
And who has walked in Virtue's path,
In peace may take his rest.

The Scriptures say, we're strangers here,
And pilgrims on this earth;
Through it we must our journey take,
Till we resign our breath:

The world is said to be an Inn,
Where man is furnish'd still,
With what is fit to 'commodate
Him for his Master's will.

It surely is absurd to say,
That I'll take up my rest
Before my journey's at an end,
Though I'm of wealth possest.

In this world it is so ordained,
That each must have his lot;
And ev'ry man should be dispos'd
To be content with it.

Whatever post man may be in,
It is his duty still,
To act his part most properly,
And study to excell.

'Tis true, indeed, some men will say,
Their post does not them suit,
And that another they could act
Much better without doubt.

The fault's not ours, that we are not
Plac'd in a different line;
'Tis Providence who does dispose
Of all things to his mind.

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