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Prophetic Lines Addressed to the Worker From the Labour Government

Sweet Content

    Art thou poor, yet hast thou golden slumbers?
         O sweet content!
    Art thou rich, yet is thy mind perplex’d?
        O punishment!
    Dost thou laugh to see how fools are vex’d
    To add to golden numbers golden numbers?
        O sweet content! O sweet, O sweet content!
    Work apace, apace, apace, apace;
    Honest labour bears a lovely face;
    Then hey nonny nonny—hey nonny nonny!
    Canst thou drink the waters of the crisped spring?
        O sweet content!
    Swim’st thou in wealth yet sink’st in thine own tears?
        O punishment!
    Then he that patiently want’s burden bears,
    No burden bears, but is a king, a king!
       O sweet content! O sweet, O sweet content!
    Work apace, apace, apace, apace;
    Honest labour bears a lovely face;
    Then hey nonny nonny—hey nonny nonny!

(By Thomas Dekker who died in 1632).