871 – 880: Appraising Enemies

Let not one even as a sport 871
The ill-natured enmity court.
Incur the hate of bow-ploughers 872
But not the hate of word-ploughers.
Forlorn, who rouses many foes 873
The worst insanity betrays.
This world goes safely in his grace 874
Whose heart makes friends even of foes.
Alone, if two foes you oppose 875
Make one of them your ally close.
Trust or distrust; during distress 876
Keep aloof; don’t mix with foes.
To those who know not, tell not your pain 877
Nor your weakness to foes explain.
Know how and act and defend well 878
The pride of enemies shall fall.
Cut off thorn-trees when young they are; 879
Grown hard, they cut your hands beware.
To breathe on earth they are not fit 880
Defying foes who don’t defeat.

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