Better than grandeur, better than gold,
Than rank and title a thousand fold,
Is a healthy body, a mind at ease,
And simple pleasures that always please;
A heart that can feel for a neighbor’s woe
And share his joys with a genial glow,—
With sympathies large enough to enfold
All men as brothers,—is better than gold.
Better than gold is a conscience clear,
Though toiling for bread in an humble sphere:
Doubly blest with content and health,
Untried by the lusts or cares of wealth.
Lowly living and lofty thought
Adorn and ennoble a poor man’s cot;
For mind and morals, in Nature’s plan,
Are the genuine test of a gentleman.
Better than gold is the sweet repose
Of the sons of toil when their labors close;
Better than gold is the poor man’s sleep,
And the balm that drops on his slumbers deep.
Bring sleeping draughts to the downy bed,
Where luxury pillows his aching head;
His simple opiate labor deems
A shorter road to the land of dreams.
Better than gold is a thinking mind
That in the realm of books can find
A treasure surpassing Australian ore,
And live with the great and good of yore.
The sage’s lore and the poet’s lay,
The glories of empires pass’d away,
The world’s great drama will thus unfold
And yield a pleasure better than gold.
Better than gold is a peaceful home,
Where all the fireside charities come;—
The shrine of love and the heaven of life,
Hallowed by mother, or sister, or wife.
However humble the home may be,
Or tried with sorrow by Heaven’s decree,
The blessings that never were bought or sold,
And center there, are better than gold.