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PROVERBIAL PHILOSOPHY, 2D SERIES: THE ART OF GIVING, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: Yet heed thou wisely this; give seldom to thy better
Last Line: Work and wages make a light heart, but the mendicant asketh with a heavy spirit.
Subject(s): Kindness


YET heed thou wisely this; give seldom to thy better;
For such obtrusive boon shall savour of presumption;
Or, if his courteous bearing greet thy proffered kindness,
Shall not thine independent honesty be vexed at the semblance of a bribe?
Moreover, heed thou this; give to thine equal charily,
The occasion fair and fitting, the gift well chosen and desired:
Hath he been prosperous and blest? a flower may show thy gladness;
Is he in need? with liberal love, tender him the well-filled purse:
Disease shall welcome friendly care in grapes and precious unguents;
And when a darling child hath died, give praise, and hope, and sympathy.
Yet once more, heed thou this; give to the poor discreetly,
Nor suffer idle sloth to lean upon thy charitable arm:
To diligence give, as to an equal, on just and fit occasion;
Or he bartereth his hard-earned self-reliance for the casual lottery of gifts.
The timely loan hath added nerve, where easy liberality would palsy;
Work and wages make a light heart, but the mendicant asketh with a heavy spirit.





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