Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
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Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
 
Avarice
XI. Henry Lok
 
        Who loueth gold shall lacke, and he
  Who couets much want store:
With wealth charge growes; the owner but
  Increaseth paine the more.

WHAT though the world, through baleful lust of gold,
Be thus transported with a greedy mind,
To purchase wealth, which makes the coward bold
To search land, sea, and hell, the same to find?
  Yet as it doth increase, so doth desire,        5
  And soone consume as oyle amidst the fire.
 
A iust reward of so vnworthy trade
As doth debase nobilitie of soule,
Which, made immortal, scornes those things that vade,
And in the wise should earthly effects controule.        10
  But mould-warp like, these blindfold grope in vaine:
  Vaine their desires; more vaine the fruit they gaine.
 
If honor, wealth, and calling do excell
The common sort, so charge doth grow with all:
Few with a little sure may liue as well,        15
As many may, though greater wealth befall:
  It is not wealth to haue of goods great store,
  But wealth to be suffised, and need no more.
 
Who hath aboundance and it vseth well,
Is but a steward to his family;        20
A purse-bearer for such as neare him dwell;
An amner to the poore that helpless cry:
  He but his share doth spend, though somewhat better,
  And what he leaues he is to world a detter.
 
 
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