These Emmets, how little they are in our eyes!
We tread them to dust, and a troop of them dies,
Without our regard or concern:
Yet, as wise as we are, if we went to their school,
There’s many a sluggard and many a fool
Some lessons of wisdom might learn.
They wear not their time out in sleeping or play,
But gather up corn in a sunshiny day,
And for winter they lay up their stores:
They manage their work in such regular forms,
One would think they foresaw all the frosts and the storms,
And so brought their food withindoors.
But I have less sense than a poor creeping Ant,
If I take not due care for the things I shall want,
Nor provide against dangers in time;
When death or old age shall once stare in my face,
What a wretch shall I be in the end of my days,
If I trifle away all their prime!
Now, now, while my strength and my youth are in bloom,
Let me think what shall serve me when sickness shall come,
And pray that my sins be forgiven.
Let me read in good books, and believe, and obey;
That, when death turns me out of this cottage of clay,
I may dwell in a palace in heaven.