Let every book that suits your theme be read,
So shall you trace it to the fountain-head.
He who has learned the duty which he owes
To friends and country, and to pardon foes;
Who models his deportment as may best
Accord with Brother, Sire, or Stranger-guest;
Who takes our Laws and Worship as they are,
Nor roars reform for Senate, Church, and Bar;500
In practice, rather than loud precept, wise,
Bids not his tongue, but heart, philosophize:
Such is the man the Poet should rehearse,
As joint exemplar of his life and verse.
Sometimes a sprightly wit, and tale well told,
Without much grace, or weight, or art, will hold
A longer empire o'er the public mind
Than sounding trifles, empty, though refined.
"A penny saved, my lad, 's a penny got."
Unhappy Greece! thy sons of ancient days
The Muse may celebrate with perfect praise,510
Whose generous children narrowed not their hearts
With Commerce, given alone to Arms and Arts.
Our boys (save those whom public schools compel
To "Long and Short" before they're taught to spell)
From frugal fathers soon imbibe by rote,
To Trade, but gave their hours to arms and arts.—[MS. L. (a).]
With traffic.—[MS. L. (b).]