“For three things the earth is disquieted,
and for four which it cannot bear.
For a servant when he reigneth,
and a fool when he is filled with meat;
for an odious woman when she is married,
and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress.”
Three things make earth unquiet And four she cannot brook The godly Agur counted them And put them in a book Those Four Tremendous Curses With which mankind is cursed; But a Servant when He Reigneth Old Agur entered first. An Handmaid that is Mistress We need not call upon. A Fool when he is full of Meat Will fall asleep anon. An Odious Woman Married May bear a babe and mend; But a Servant when He Reigneth Is Confusion to the end. His feet are swift to tumult, His hands are slow to toil, His ears are deaf to reason, His lips are loud in broil. He knows no use for power Except to show his might. He gives no heed to judgment Unless it prove him right. Because he served a master Before his Kingship came, And hid in all disaster Behind his master's name, So, when his Folly opens The unnecessary hells, A Servant when He Reigneth Throws the blame on some one else. His vows are lightly spoken, His faith is hard to bind, His trust is easy broken, He fears his fellow-kind. The nearest mob will move him To break the pledge he gave Oh, a Servant when He Reigneth Is more than ever slave!