Works of Frederick Engels, 1839
Written: about February 24, 1839
First published: in Der Bremer Stadtbote No. 4, February 24, 1839
Signed: Theodor H.
Why can you never leave what’s well alone
And let a little honest striving
Or well-meant words said in a kindly tone
Do their good work among the living?
To falsify what people really mean
Is very easy to arrange.
Bad in the good is all too quickly seen,
But good to bad you'll never change.
Or is it that you seriously expect
To gain advantages by making light
Of others’ efforts? If you want respect,
Then win respect in your own right.
Use your own brains then; if you would succeed
Prepare to make the upward climb;
Hanging behind those who are in the lead,
Belittling them, you waste your time.
Say, can you hope to do the courier wrong
For whom you lay your spiteful snares?
He carries news, so let him pass along
As on his lawful way he fares.
If truth he brings, truth shall indeed prevail,
Transcending perfidy and fraud.
The wise old saying hits it on the nail
"Honesty is its own reward.”