’Tis the voice of the Sluggard: I heard him complain,
“You have wak’d me too soon, I must slumber again;”
As the door on its hinges, so he on his bed,
Turns his sides, and his shoulders, and his heavy head.
“A little more sleep, a little more slumber,”
Thus he wastes half his days and his hours without number;
And when he gets up he sits folding his hands,
Or walks about saunt’ring, or trifling he stands.
I pass’d by his garden, and saw the wild brier,
The thorn and the thistle, grow broader and higher.
The clothes that hang on him are turning to rags:
And his money still wastes, till he starves or he begs.
I made him a visit still hoping to find
He had took better care for improving his mind:
He told me his dreams, talk’d of eating and drinking;
But he scarce reads his Bible, and never loves thinking.
Said I then to my heart, “Here’s lesson for me;
That man’s but a picture of what I might be:
But thanks to my friends for their care in my breeding,
Who taught me betimes to love working and reading.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on July 15, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.