Kings in whose country tuneful bards are found
Naked and starving, though for lore renowned,
Are voted dullards by all men of sense;
Poets are ever lords, though short of pence,
And he who spurns the diamond's flawless ray
Himself degrades, not that he flings away.
Those who possess that treasure which no thief can take away,
Which, though on suppliants freely spent, increaseth day by day,
The source of inward happiness which shall outlast the earth--
To them e'en kings should yield the palm, and own their higher worth.
Scorn not those sages who have scaled the topmost heights of truth;
Who snap the cords of wealth like bonds of straw.
For lotus-strings will never hold in awe
Th' infuriate sovereign of the herd, drunk with the pride of youth.
Neither rings, bright chains, nor bracelets, perfumes, flowers, nor well-trimmed hair,
Grace a man like polished language, th' only jewel he should wear.
Knowledge is man's highest beauty, knowledge is his hidden treasure,
Chief of earthly blessings, bringing calm contentment, fame, and pleasure;
Friends in foreign lands procuring, love of mighty princes earning;
Man is but a beast without it: such a glorious god is Learning.
Better silence far than speaking,
Worse are kinsmen oft than fire,
There's no balm like friendly counsel,
There's no enemy like ire,
Rogues have keener teeth than vipers,
Brains outweigh the miser's hoard,
Better modesty than jewels,
Tuneful lyre than kingly sword.
Ever liberal to kinsmen, to the stranger ever kind,
Ever stern to evil-doers, ever frank to men of mind,
Ever loving to the virtuous, ever loyal to the crown,
Ever brave against his foemen, ever honouring the gown,
Womankind distrusting ever--such the hero I would see--
Such uphold the world in order; without them 't would cease to be.
What blessings flow from converse with the wise!
All dulness leaves us, truth we learn to prize;
Our hearts expand with consciousness of worth,
Our minds enlarge, our glory fills the earth.
Those bards of passion who unfold
The secrets of the heart,
Their glory never groweth old,
Nor feels Death's fatal dart.
A duteous son, a virtuous wife, a lord to kindness prone,
A loving friend, a kinsmen true, a mind of cheerful tone,
A handsome shape, a well-filled purse, a soul-illumined face,
Are theirs on whom great Hari smiles, and sheds peculiar grace.
Abstinence from sin of bloodshed, and from speech of others' wives,
Truth and open-handed largess, love for men of holy lives,
Freedom from desire and avarice--such the path that leads to bliss,
Path which every sect may travel, and the simple cannot miss.
Cowards shrink from toil and peril,
Vulgar souls attempt and fail;
Men of mettle, nothing daunted,
Persevere till they prevail.
Not to swerve from truth or mercy, not for life to stoop to shame;
From the poor no gifts accepting, nor from men of evil fame;
Lofty faith and proud submission--who on Fortune's giddy ledge
Firm can tread this path of duty, narrow as the sabre's edge?