George Johnston

If You Don't Believe It, Try It

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'Tis better far to wear away
In honest strong endeavor,
Than idly rust in slow decay
And work and labor never;
By honest toil to earn your bread,
Or wherewithal to buy it;
'Tis very well, and truly said--
If you don't believe it, try it.

Ye idle loafers in the streets,
The honest workman spurning,
Know this--a living to be sweet
Is better for the earning.
To loaf and lounge and lie about,
On others' toil to riot,
Is only practiced by a lout;
No honest man will try it.

Oh! him that earns his daily bread!
Despise and spurn him never,
A thousand blessings on his head
'Tis he that feeds you ever.
Should others work no more than you
Quite spare would be your diet,
Your gills would turn a livid hue
If they would stop and try it.

Then go to work with hands or head,
You'll surely profit by it;
And strive to earn some honest bread--
You can, if you will try it.

Ye sweeter ones of gentler sex,
Who tread the pavement hourly,
I do not wish your hearts to vex,
Then pray don't take it sourly--
Methinks sometimes 'tis no disgrace
Tho' seldom you are nigh it,
To be at home, your proper place,--
If you don't believe it, try it.
Are there no duties there to do?
If so "be up and doing!"
No clothes to mend, that you could sew,
No beer that's worth the brewing?
Then stay at home, sometimes, at least,
My counsel, don't defy it,
A little rest's as good's a feast,
If you don't believe it, try it.

'Tis easy quite to do the right,
And in it there is beauty,
What e'er you do, do with your might,
But always do your duty.
Be true unto yourself, and then--
Wise counsel--don't decry it,
You can't be false to other men--
If you don't believe it, try it.

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George Johnston