Thoughts on the psychology of value and self-worth
A lesson by the maidens learned may often come too late,
That beauty doth lose beauty by the maidens offered rate,
For gold and gems and jewels by their scarcity are priced,
And beauty doth lose beauty when it's offered in a trice.
A painting that is given, oft will hang accordingly,
Though beautiful, the picture stains and fades through handling,
Yet let a man pay thousands for that canvas in a frame,
And he will guard it carefully and laud its painted fame.
A golden chain with heavy links when sold at half its price,
Will hear with scorn, "If it were real, would draw this low sum twice,"
And so will sell for even less, assumed the gold is false,
And soon becomes a golden toy that gathers dust and dross.
If operas on the commons played, then who would pay to see,
So beauty doth lose beauty when it's offered up for free,
And sweets consumed as meals no more are tempting as a treat,
So beauty doth lose beauty when it's offered on the street.
A shoe that's crafted with the greatest care and softest suede,
With use will lose its value, though 'tis beautifully made,
And though the leather still doth shine above to those who see,
The man who wears these thin-worn soles will find it wets his feet.
A man will till and plant and tend his private garden plot,
And boast to all, because it's his, the class of fruit he's got,
But let him pass a market full and bursting at the seams.
And he will scoff and snub the public offering as obscene.
Ruined nations cheaply lie if given crowns to everyone,
And cheaply beauty lays when beauty's crown is cheaply won,
Noblemen, for money, sell the titles of their birth,
And beauty doth lose beauty when it forgets its noble worth.
Mighty mountains thrusting skyward soon will lose their gloried state,
When too often they've been conquered by the men who tempt the fates,
And those who strive above the crowds will seek adventure still,
But drawn instead are they to peaks unclimbed, though only gentle hills.
A man who sweats and mines and finds a diamond of great size,
And offers it for pennies, as a fool, will be despised,
Yet even though they laugh at him, they will not hesitate,
To buy the fools great find at its greatly cheapened rate.
So cheapened beauty's suitors fit the cheapest buyers mold,
And beauty doth lose beauty when its beauty's cheaply sold,
'Til none of worth will seek or even see that beauty stays,
And beauty doth lose beauty when it's given cheap away.