OGNI UOMO DEVE ASSAI CARO TENERE ... OF WORK AND WEALTH
Masolino da Todi tr. Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Ogni uomo deve assai caro tenere
Lo primo bene, ched ave acquistato;
Che se viene in ricchezza nè in potere,
Con quello primo l'ave guadagnato.
Chi seguita lo suo folle volere
Alla fiata trovasi ingannato;
Però deve dottare di cadere
Quello, che non travaglia, alto montato.
Rade fiate trov'uomo follža
Accompagnata con la povertate,
Perciocchè lo pensieri lo'nde'stolle.
Ma quello, che fu povero da pria,
Se poi vene in ricchezza e in dignitate,
Ispesse fiate trova l'uomo folle.
A man should hold in very dear esteem
The first possession that his labours gain'd;
For, though great riches be at length attain'd,
From that first mite they were increased to him.
Who followeth after his own wilful whim
Shall see himself outwitted in the end;
Wherefore I still would have him apprehend
His fall, who toils not being once supreme.
Thou seldom shalt find folly, of the worst,
Holding companionship with poverty,
Because it is distracted of much care.
Howbeit, if one that hath been poor at first
Is brought at last to wealth and dignity,
Still the worst folly thou shalt find it there.

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