Let no persuasive art tempt you to place
Your confidence in crafty minds and base!
How can it answer? Will their help avail
When danger presses, and your foes assail?
The blessing which the gods in bounty send,
Will they consent to share it with a friend? No! To bestrew the waves with scatter'd grain,
To cultivate the surface of the main,
Is not a task more absolutely vain,
Than cultivating such allies as these,
Fickle and unproductive as the seas! Such are all baser minds; never at rest,
With new demands importunately press'd--
A new pretension or a new request;
Till, foil'd with a refusal of the last,
They disavow their obligations past. But brave and gallant hearts are cheaply gain'd--
Faithful adherents, easily retain'd;
Men that will never disavow the debt
Of gratitude, or cancel or forget.