“Nor grain, nor wealth, nor store of gold and silver,
Not one amongst his women-folk and children,
Nor slave, domestic, hired man,
Nor any one that eats his bread,
Can follow him who leaves this life,
But all things must be left behind.
“But every deed a man performs,
With body, or with voice, or mind,
’Tis this that he can call his own,
This with him take as he goes hence.
This is what follows after him,
And like a shadow ne’er departs.
“Let all, then, noble deeds perform,
A treasure-store for future weal;
For merit gained this life within,
Will yield a blessing in the next.”
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.