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Wholly abstain, or wed. Thy bounteous Lord
Allows thee choice of paths : take no by-ways;
But gladly welcome what he doth afford;
Not grudging, that thy lust hath bounds and stays.
Continence hath his joy : weigh both ; and so
If rottenness have more, let heaven go.
If God had laid all common, certainly
Man would have been th' encloser ; but since now
God hath impaled us, on the contrary
Man breaks the fence, and every ground will plough.
O what were man, might he himself misplace!
Sure to be cross he would shift feet and face.
Drink not the third glass, which thou canst not tame,
When once it is within thee; but before
May'st rule it, as thou list : and pour the shame
Which it would pour on thee, upon the floor.
It is most just to throw that on the ground,
Which would throw me there, if I keep the round.
He that is drunken may his mother kill
Big with his sister : he hath lost the reins,
Is outlaw'd by himself : all kind of ill
Did with his liquor slide into his veins.
The drunkard forfeits Man, and doth divest
All worldly right, save what he hath by beast.
Shall I, to please another's wine-sprung mind,
Lose all mine own? God hath given me a measure
Short of his can, and body ; must I find
A pain in that, wherein he finds a pleasure ?
Stay at the third glass : if thou lose thy hold,
Then thou art modest, and the wine grows
If reason move not Gallants, quit the room
(All in a shipwreck shift their several way);
Let not a common ruin thee entomb:
Be not a beast in courtesy, but stay,
Stay at the third cup, or forego the place.
Wine above all things doth God's stamp deface.
Yet, if thou sin in wine or wantonness,
Boast not thereof; nor make thy shame thy glory.
Frailty gets pardon by submissiveness ;
But he that boasts, shuts that out of his story :
He makes flat war with God, and doth defy,
With his poor clod of earth the spacious sky.
Take not His name, who made thy mouth, in vain :
It gets thee nothing, and hath no excuse.
Lust and wine plead a pleasure, avarice gain :
But the cheap swearer through his open
sluice Lets his soul run for nought, as little fearing : Were I an Epicure, I could bate swearing.
When thou dost tell another's jest, therein
Omit the oaths, which true wit cannot need :
Pick out of tales the mirth, but not the sin.
pares his apple that will cleanly feed. Play not away the virtue of that name, Which is thy best stake, when griefs make thee tame.
The cheapest sins most dearly punish'd are ;
Because to shun them also is so cheap :
For we have wit to mark them, and to spare.
O crumble not away thy soul's fair heap.
If thou wilt die, the gates of hell are broad :
Pride and full sins have made the way a road.
Lie not; but let thy heart be true to God,
Thy mouth to it, thy actions to them both :
Cowards tell lies, and those that fear the rod;
The stormy working soul spits lies and froth.
Dare to be true. Nothing can need a lie:
A fault, which needs it most, grows two thereby.
Fly idleness, which yet thou canst not fly
By dressing, mistressing, and complement.
If those take up thy day, the Sun will cry
Against thee ; for his light was only lent.
God gave thy soul brave wings; put not those feathers
Into a bed, to sleep out all ill weathers.
Art thou a Magistrate ? then be severe :
If studious ; copy fair what time hath blurr'd ;
Redeem truth from his jaws : if Soldier,
Chase brave employments with a naked sword
Throughout the world. Fool not ; for all may have,
If they dare try, a glorious life, or grave.
O England ! full of sin, but most of sloth!
Spit out thy phlegm, and fill thy breast with glory :
Thy Gentry bleats, as if thy native cloth
Transfused a sheepishness into thy story :
Not that they all are so ; but that the most
grass, and in the pasture lost.
This loss springs chiefly from our education.
Some till their ground, but let weeds choke their son :
Some mark a partridge, never their child's fashion :
Some ship them over, and the thing is done.
Study this art, make it thy great design ;
And if God's image move thee not, let thine.
Some great estates provide, but do not breed
A mastering mind; so both are lost thereby :
Or else they breed them tender, make them need
All that they leave; this is flat poverty.
For he, that needs five thousand pound to live,
Is full as poor as he that needs but five.
The way to make thy son rich, is to fill
His mind with rest, before his trunk with riches :
For wealth without contentment, climbs a hill,
To feel those tempests, which fly over ditches.
But if thy son can make ten pound his measure,
Then all thou addest may be call’d his treasure.
When thou dost purpose ought (within thy power),
Be sure to do it, though it be but small :
Constancy knits the bones, and makes us stour,
When wanton pleasures beckon us to thrall.
Who breaks his own bond, forfeiteth himself :
What nature made a ship, he makes a shelf.
Do all things like a man, not sneakingly :
Think the king sees thee still ; for his King does.
; Simpering is but a lay-hypocrisy : Give it a corner, and the clue undoes.
Who fears to do ill, sets himself to task :
Who fears to do well, sure should wear a mask.
Look to thy mouth : diseases enter there.
Thou hast two sconces, if thy stomach call ;
Carve, or discourse; do not a famine fear.
Who carves, is kind to two; who talks, to all.
Look on meat, think it dirt, then eat a bit ;
And say withal, Earth to earth I commit.
Slight those who say amidst their sickly healths,
Thou livest by rule. What doth not so but man?
Houses are built by rule, and commonwealths.
Entice the trusty sun, if that you can,
From his Ecliptic line ; beckon the sky.
Who lives by rule, then, keeps good company.
Who keeps no guard upon himself, is slack,
And rots to nothing at the next great thaw.
Man is a shop of rules, a well-truss'd pack,
Whose every parcel underwrites a law.
Lose not thyself, nor give thy humours way:
God gave them to thee under lock and key.
By all means use sometimes to be alone.
Salute thyself: see what thy soul doth wear.
Dare to look in thy chest ; for 'tis thine own :
And tumble up and down what thou find’st there.
Who cannot rest till he good fellows find,
He breaks up house, turns out of doors his mind.
Be thrifty, but not covetous : therefore give
Thy need, thine honour, and thy friend his due.
Never was scraper brave man. Get to live;
Then live, and use it : else, it is not true
That thou hast gotten. Surely use alon
Makes money not a contemptible stone.
Never exceed thy income. Youth may make
Even with the year : but age, if it will hit,
Shoots a bow short, and lessens still his stake,
As the day lessens, and his life with it.
Thy children, kindred, friends
thee call Before thy journey fairly part with all.