The Real Riches

By John G. Saxe

Every coin of earthly treasure
We have lavished upon earth
For our simple worldly pleasure
May be reckoned something worth;
For the spending was not losing,
Tho’ the purchase were but small;
It has perished with the using.
We have had it,—that is all!
All the gold we leave behind us,
When we turn to dust again,
Tho’ our avarice may blind us,
We have gathered quite in vain;
Since we neither can direct it,
By the winds of fortune tost,
Nor in other worlds expect it;
What we hoarded we have lost.
But each merciful oblation—
Seed of pity wisely sown,
What we gave in self-negation,
We may safely call our own;
For the treasure freely given
Is the treasure that we hoard,
Since the angels keep in heaven,
What is lent unto the Lord.

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