Since thou and I have proven many a time
That all our hope betrays us and deceives,
To that consummate good which never grieves
Uplift thy heart, towards a happier clime.
This life is like a field of flowering thyme,
Amidst the herbs and grass the serpent lives;
If aught unto the sight brief pleasure gives,
'T is but to snare the soul with treacherous lime.
So, wouldst thou keep thy spirit free from cloud,
A tranquil habit to thy latest day,
Follow the few, and not the vulgar crowd.
Yet mayest thou urge, "Brother, the very way
Thou showest us, wherefrom thy footsteps proud
(And never more than now) so oft did stray."