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Song 4.

The thief


Why should I deprive my neighbour

Of his goods against his will?

Hands were made for honest labour,

Not to plunder, or to steal.

’Tis a foolish self–deceiving

By such tricks to hope for gain:

All that’s ever got by thieving

Turns to sorrow, shame, and pain.


Have not Eve and Adam taught us

Their sad profit to compute,

To what dismal state they brought us

When they stole forbidden fruit?

Oft we see a young beginner

Practice little pilfering ways,

Till grown up a harden’d sinner,

Then the gallows ends his days.

Theft will not be always hidden,

Though we fancy none can spy:

When we take a thing forbidden,

God beholds it with his eye.

Guard my heart, O God of heaven,

Lest I covet what’s not mine;

Lest I steal what is not given,

Guard my heart and hands from sin.

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