691 – 700: Walk with Kings

Move with hostile kings as with fire 691
Not coming close nor going far.
Crave not for things which kings desire 692
This brings thee their fruitful favour.
Guard thyself from petty excess 693
Suspected least, there’s no redress.
Whisper not; nor smile exchange 694
Amidst august men’s assemblage.
Hear not, ask not the king’s secret 695
Hear only when he lets it out.
Discern his mood and time and tell 696
No dislikes but what king likes well.
Tell pleasing things; and never tell 697
Even if pressed what is futile.
As young and kinsman do not slight; 698
Look with awe king’s light and might.
The clear-visioned do nothing base 699
Deeming they have the monarch’s grace.
Worthless acts based on friendship old 700
Shall spell ruin and woe untold.

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