Thomas Lord Vaux
Try Before You Trust
To counsel my estate, abandoned to the spoil
Of forged friends, whose grossest fraud is set with finest foil;
To verify true dealing wights, whose trust no treason dreads,
And all too dear th'acquaintance be, of such most harmful heads;
I am advised thus: who so doth friend, friend so,
As though tomorrow next he feared for to become a foe.
To have a feigned friend, no peril like I find;
Oft fleering face may mantle best a mischief in the mind.
A pair of angel's ears oft times doth hide a serpent's heart,
Under whose grips who so doth come, too late complains the smart.
Wherefore I do advise, who doth friend, friend so,
As though tomorrow next he should become a mortal foe.
Refuse respecting friends that courtly know to feign,
For gold that wins for gold shall lose the selfsame friends again.
The quail needs never fear in fowler's nets to fall,
If he would never bend his ear to listen to his call.
Therefore trust not too soon, but when you friend, friend so,
As though tomorrow next ye feared for to become a foe.
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(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
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