To Avarice

 A VARICE ! oh, silly passion!
You 're an object of compassion;
You are made of human breath:
Have you never heard of Death?
Laugh—and swear “that you 're alive,
That your health and spirits thrive;”
Stewards are your men of trust —
Can you dare to think them just?
You are selfish; and the sample
Is prolific in example.
You have children—go to bed;
They have mischief in their head,—
Mischief that no power of yours
With its terror kills or cures.
You are prodigal and vain;
'Tis a host in Folly's train.
You 're gallant , and with a girl,
Wealth is Cleopatra's pearl.
Build! and the Gazette 's at hand;
Mortar is a rope of sand.
You are in the Funds , perhaps;
Who can save you from their traps?
Stung and goaded by Ambition,
You 're a desperate Politician ;
And, on public spirit bent,
Nestle into Parliament;
For a job, or a connexion,
Buy— a popular election!
Human folly's cruel joke
Never took a bolder stroke.
If at home, without pursuit,
You are a domestic brute;
And, afraid of knives that carve,
Like an Elwes , you can starve .
Ere your last accompt is come
And a cypher is the sum,
Or, the miser's penal doom,
Comic satire brands the tomb,
Buy, with all this gold of thine,
Avarice of a richer mine;
Make your wealth a cheering stream,—
Not a self-indulging dream;
And, your treasure to ensure,
Be the Angel of the Poor:
Tears of joy your life shall grace,
Blessings fold your last embrace,
And, when life shall be no more,
You shall carry all your store,
Coin which Time despairs to rust,
Gems that sparkle in the dust.
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