I hardly think I ever can
Find out an upright, honest man,
Who is in all his dealings just
And faithful to his Sacred trust.
In thought, and in his doings true,
Who gives to every man his due,
And acts with honesty to all,
The old and young, the great and small;
I often sought, but seldom found,
A man in all his dealings sound;
Not e'en among the very best
Would all their actions stand the test.
They may not cheat or lie or steal,
Yet may a selfishness reveal
By grasping at the largest share,
And doing something scarcely fair.
The honesty I seek implies
The doing what is just and wise,
By rendering to God his due
And paying Caesar's tribute too.
'Tis theft to steal another's gold,
And nothing less if you withold
The goods or money you should pay
Which greed won't let you give away.
You say that you can't live on air,
And that you have no cash to spare--
Not for your creditors, I see,
But for yourself and family.
You live as well and dress as gay
As if you had no debts to pay.
You make a transfer to your wife
And she is owner now for life.
And such as you my soul abhors
Who thus would cheat their creditors,
"Thou Shalt not Steal," and this implies
Dishonest gain through fraud and lies.
To covet what is not your own
Is theft conceived. That thought alone
Would soil the garments of a saint,
And mar it with an ugly taint.
You must be honest in your heart
As well as act an honest part.
But ah! how few in heart are free
From covetous dishonesty!
This greedy grasping after gold
Soon leaves the heart deprav'd and cold;
And when of charity bereft
There's very little justice left.
Thus he can triumph in the pain
Of those whose loss has been his gain.
The man who drugs and sells his drink
Is not an honest man, I think;
While every drunkard seems to me
The essence of dishonesty;
He robs his children and his wife,
Himself--oft of his very life.
'Tis wrong to buy, 'tis wrong to sell
A drug that drags you down to hell.
Dishonesty of every kind
Is selfish, hateful, wicked, blind.
Detected theft brings grief and shame,
And leaves a stigma on the name
Of him who takes the tempter's bait
And sees his folly when too late.
And secret theft tho' long concealed
Is often openly revealed.
But tho' the thet for greedy thought
Be hidden like a thing forgot,
Still honesty must ever be
The best and safest policy.