By Charles Sangster



Let them boast as they will of the world’s giddy pleasures,
     I’ve tried them, and found them both wanting and vain;
And so will each Truth-seeking mortal, who measures
     The good by the evil—the joy by the pain.
Let him rove through the bowers where Love stands to lure him,


     Let him climb Pleasure’s height till he vexes his brain,
And every step that he takes will assure him
     That all gilded delights are both shallow and vain. [Page 188]

Let him sip from the cup where perdition is sowing
     Her tares, that will poison youth’s promising grain,


And while the red wine in the goblet is glowing,
     He’ll find that earth’s pleasures are shallow and vain.
Let him mix in the waltz, where, with beauty to lure him,
     He can revel in smiles till he gladdens his brain,
But the morning will dawn, both to vex and assure him


     That all earthly pleasures are fleeting and vain.

Let him bow down to Fashion, an idol enslaving
     The minds of her votaries, who dare not complain;
Insatiate—peevishly, sinfully craving
     For pleasures, the vainest of all that are vain.


Let him feed upon dishes, whose savors allure him
     To grasp at a pleasure that addles his brain,
Till nature, o’ertaxed, groans aloud, to assure him
     That the pleasure at best was both hurtful and vain.

But Pleasure is useful.  It teacheth the wisest


     That, from joys which are sweetest ’tis well to abstain,
While he who the lowliest lessons despisest,
     Will learn to his cost that earth’s pleasures are vain.
Thrice happy is he, who, when false pleasures allure him,
     Repels the proud tempter with Christian disdain,


And calls on calm Reason, to haste and assure him
     That Love, Truth, and Heaven, alone are not vain. [Page 189]