ADVICE TO A FRIEND.

My friend, give ear to my advice,
If wisdom you do chuse:
This subject has my silence broke,
I now invoke my Muse.

From vain contests I beg you'll cease,
And likewise low pursuits,
And learn the road to happiness,
By leaving off disputes.

Why should your soul, that here can't stay,
Of wealth or riches boast?
Or why should you for honour hunt?
If found at Virtue's cost?

Can all these empty nothings save
Yourself or friend from pain,
While injur'd Virtue stands and pleads
You will your honour stain?

Avoid with care each word and deed,
That may cause future grief:
For death will come and level all,
From which there's no relief!

That stern destroyer spares no man,
But fast on him doth sieze;
Yet still vain, thoughtless mortals strive,
How they themselves may please!

He bids his moments slowly run,
Till he increase his wealth;
And when his pleasure's past and gone
He then will welcome death!

But when death comes, observe the fears
That in his bosom roll:
They are so great, he's so dismay'd,
They tear his very soul!

He has one fear above the rest,
That much disturbs his heart;
he and his much-lov'd, worthy friend,
Call'd Mammon, they must part.

Cold sweat bedews his ghastly face,
A symptom of his death!
And horror shakes his ev'ry limb,
Ere he's deprived of breath!

He owns his bustle to be great
Was but a gilded pill--
He fanci'd he should live more years,
And also flourish still:

And down to latest times transmit
His greatness and his fame,
And publish wide to ev'ry land
His great and mighty name:

But see his friends around him stand,
Till once his eyes are shut:
They seize his purse and all his store,
Yet never thank him for't:

Then quickly to the grave him take,
As soon as he is dead,
And piously they make a shew,
When laying in his head.

Repine not then! my worthy Friend!
Though you want pomp and shew:
Free to some men are all those things,
Although deni'd to you.

Why should you envy him whose lot,
Compar'd with your's, is worse?
For what he thougth a blessing once,
It proves at last a curse!

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