—Dhammapada, vv. 235-40
Lo! thou are not a pale and withered leaf;
Death's messengers are close at hand;
Thou in the very gate of Death dost stand,
And yet hast no provision for the way.
Then make thyself an island of defence;
Strive quick; be wise;
Blow off the dust and stains of travel;
Wipe away the rust,
So shalt thou see no more birth and decay.
The wise and thoughtful man
Attacks his faults one after other, momently,
In order due, and rubs them all away,
E'en as a smith blows off the silver's dross.
Just as the iron rust accumulates self-born,
And eats itself away,
So with the man who sinneth;
Day by day his own deeds
To destruction ...lead him on.
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