William Cowper

26 November 1731 – 25 April 1800 / Hertfordshire

From Menander

Fond youth! who dream'st that hoarded gold
Is needful not alone to pay
For all thy various items sold,
To serve the wants of every day;

Bread, vinegar, and oil, and meat,
For savory viands season'd high;
But somewhat more important yet--
I tell thee what it cannot buy.

No treasure hadst thou more amass'd
Than fame to Tantalus assign'd,
Would save thee from a tomb at last,
But thou must leave it all behind.

I give thee, therefore, counsel wise;
Confide not vainly in thy store,
However large -- much less despise
Others comparatively poor;

But in thy more exalted state
A just and equal temper show
That all who see thee rich and great,
May deem thee worthy to be so.
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