Gateway to the Classics: Poems Every Child Should Know by Mary E. Burt
 
Poems Every Child Should Know by  Mary E. Burt

Polonius' Advice

See thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,

Nor any unproportion'd thought his act.

Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar:

The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,

Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;

But do not dull thy palm with entertainment

Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade. Beware

Of entrance to a quarrel; but, being in,

Bear 't that th' opposed may beware of thee.

Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice:

Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.

Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy

But not expressed in fancy; rich, not gaudy:

For the apparel oft proclaims the man.

Neither a borrower nor a lender be;

For loan oft loses both itself and friend,

And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.

This above all: to thine own self be true;

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.


Shakespeare ("Hamlet").


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