Samuel Johnson

(1709 - 1784 / Lichfield / England)

The Vanity Of Wealth - Poem by Samuel Johnson

No more thus brooding o'er yon heap,
With avarice painful vigils keep:
Still unenjoy'd the present store,
Still endless sighs are breathed for more.
O! quit the shadow, catch the prize,
Which not all India's treasure buys!
To purchase with heaven has gold the power?
Can gold remove the mortal hour?
In life can love be bought with gold?
Are friendship's pleasures to be sold?
No! - all that's worth a wish - a thought,
Fair virtue gives unbribed, unbought,
Cease then on trash thy hopes to bind,
Let noble views engage thy mind.
With science tread the wondrous way,
Or learn the Muses' moral lay;
In social hours indulge thy soul,
Where mirth and temperance mix the bowl;
To virtuous love resign thy breast,
And be, by blessing beauty, - bless'd.
Thus taste the feast by Nature spread,
Ere youth and all its joys are fled;
Come taste with me the balm of life,
Secure from pomp, and wealth, and strife.
I boast whate'er for man was meant,
In health, and Stella, and content;
And scorn! (oh! let that scorn be thine!)
Mere things of clay, that dig the mine.


Comments about The Vanity Of Wealth by Samuel Johnson

  • Susan Williams (9/23/2017 5:52:00 PM)


    Now that was smoooooooothly said! ! ! Surprised me- - often the classic poems are stilted and over ornate for my tastes- -but this one went down so easy yet its message wasn't short-changed. Fantastic read and noble use of time and ink. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Paul Amrod (9/23/2017 1:57:00 PM)


    This poem should be sent to the war mongers and the monsters of the black gold and to an entire group of despicable Wall Street brokers. Coming from an old hippy I enjoy this man's attitude about dough. (Report) Reply

  • Geeta Radhakrishna Menon (9/23/2017 12:45:00 PM)


    Can gold remove the mortal hour?
    In life can love be bought with gold?
    Are friendship's pleasures to be sold?
    No! - all that's worth a wish - a thought,

    The genius of Samuel Johnson shines through this poem.
    (Report) Reply

  • (9/23/2017 11:29:00 AM)


    Noble thoughts; an invitation to virtuous love and a muse's moral lay. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (9/23/2017 8:23:00 AM)


    Muses' moral lay! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Kumarmani Mahakul (9/23/2017 3:07:00 AM)


    Can gold remove the mortal hour?
    In life can love be bought with gold?
    Are friendship's pleasures to be sold?
    No! - all that's worth a wish - a thought,
    Fair virtue gives unbribed, unbought,
    Cease then on trash thy hopes to bind,
    Let noble views engage thy mind.... great theme.
    Beautiful poem shared. Thanks to his soul for being selected this poem as the poem of the day.
    (Report) Reply

  • Robert Murray Smith (9/23/2017 1:27:00 AM)


    Dear old Sam he could write all night under the candlelight. An interesting write. Remember he wrote a dictionary. (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (9/23/2017 12:14:00 AM)


    Such an interesting poem worthy of reading..... (Report) Reply

Read all 8 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?



Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010



[Report Error]