Benjamin Franklin Poems

We have collected and put the best Benjamin Franklin poems. Enjoy reading these insights and feel free to share this page on your social media to inspire others.

Benjamin Franklin (17 January 1706 – 17 April 1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A renowned polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the U.S. Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, among other inventions. He facilitated many civic organizations, including Philadelphia’s fire department and a school.

See also : Prayers of Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Franklin Quotes, and Benjamin Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues

Death Is A Fisherman

Death is a fisherman, the world we see
His fish-pond is, and we the fishes be;
His net some general sickness; howe’er he
Is not so kind as other fishers be;
For if they take one of the smaller fry,
They throw him in again, he shall not die:
But death is sure to kill all he can get,
And all is fish with him that comes to net.

Epitaph In Bookish Style

The Body of Benjamin Franklin (Printer)
(Like the cover of an old book
Its contents torn out
And stript of its lettering and gilding)
Lies here, food for worms.
But the work shall not be lost
For it will (as he believed) appear once more
In a new and more elegant edition
Revised and corrected by The Author.


Some have learn’t many tricks of sly evasion,
Instead of truth they use equivocation,
And eke it out with mental reservation,
Which, to good men, is an abomination.
Our smith of late most wonderfully swore,
That whilst he breathed he would drink no more,
But since, I know his meaning, for I think,
He meant he would not breathe whilst he did drink.

Bill Cash Money Benjamin Franklin Hundred 100

Benjamin Franklin

How to Get Riches


In Things of moment, on thy self depend,
Nor trust too far thy Servant or thy Friend:
With private Views, thy Friend may promise fair,
And Servants very seldom prove sincere.


What can be done, with Care perform to Day,
Dangers unthought-of will attend Delay;
Your distant Prospects all precarious are,
And Fortune is as fickle as she’s fair.


Nor trivial Loss, nor trivial Gain despise;
Molehills, if often heap’d, to Mountains rise:
Weigh every small Expence, and nothing waste,
Farthings long sav’d, amount to Pounds at last.

On The Freedom Of The Press

While free from Force the Press remains,
Virtue and Freedom chear our Plains,
And Learning Largesses bestows,
And keeps unlicens’d open House.
We to the Nation’s publick Mart
Our Works of Wit, and Schemes of Art,
And philosophic Goods, this Way,
Like Water carriage, cheap convey.
This Tree which Knowledge so affords,
Inquisitors with flaming swords
From Lay-Approach with Zeal defend,
Lest their own Paradise should end.

The Press from her fecundous Womb
Brought forth the Arts of Greece and Rome;
Her offspring, skill’d in Logic War,
Truth’s Banner wav’d in open Air;
The Monster Superstition fled,
And hid in Shades in Gorgon Head;
And awless Pow’r, the long kept Field,
By Reason quell’d, was forc’d to yield.

This Nurse of Arts, and Freedom’s Fence,
To chain, is Treason against Sense:
And Liberty, thy thousand Tongues
None silence who design no Wrongs;
For those who use the Gag’s Restraint,
First Rob, before they stop Complaint.

The Benefit Of Going To Law

Two beggars traveling along,
One blind, the other lame.
Pick’d up an oyster on the way,
To which they both laid claim:
The matter rose so high, that they
Resolv’d to go to law,
As often richer fools have done,
Who quarrel for a straw.
A lawyer took it straight in hand,
Who knew his business was
To mind nor one nor t’other side,
But make the best o’ the cause,
As always in the law’s the case;
So he his judgment gave,
And lawyer-like he thus resolv’d
What each of them should have;
Blind plaintif, lame defendant, share
The friendly laws impartial care,
A shell for him, a shell for thee,
The middle is the lawyer’s fee.


Wedlock as old men note, hath likened been,
Unto a public crowd or common rout;
Where those that are without would fain get in,
And those that are within, would fain get out.
Grief often treads upon the heels of pleasure,
Marry’d in haste, we oft repent at leisure;
Some by experience find these words missplaced,
Marry’d at leisure, they repent in haste.

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin Quotes

from Poor Richard’s Almanack

More nice than wise.

XI Mon. January [1733] hath xxxi days.

Old Batchelor would have a Wife that’s wise,
Fair, rich, and young, a Maiden for his Bed;
Not proud, nor churlish, but of faultless size;
A Country Houswife in the City bred.
He’s a nice Fool, and long in vain hath staid;
He should bespeak her, there’s none ready made.

XII Mon. February hath xxviii days.

N. N. of B—s County, pray don’t be angry with
poor Richard.

Each Age of Men new Fashions doth invent;
Things which are old, young Men do not esteem:
What pleas’d our Fathers, doth not us content;
What flourish’d then, we out of fashion deem:
And that’s the reason, as I understand,
Why Prodigus did fell his Father’s Land.

I Mon. March hath xxxi days.

My Love and I for Kisses play’d,
She would keep stakes, I was content,
But when I won she would be paid;
This made me ask her what she meant:
Quoth she, since you are in this wrangling vein,
Here take your Kisses, give me mine again.

II Mon. April hath xxx days.

Kind Katharine to her husband kiss’d these words,
“ Mine own sweet Will, how dearly I love thee!
If true (quoth Will) the World no such affords.
And that its true I durst his warrant be;
For ne’er heard I of Woman good or ill,
But always loved best, her own sweet Will.

III Mon. May hath xxxi days.

Mirth pleaseth some, to others ’tis offence,
Some commend plain conceit, some profound sense;
Some wish a witty Jest, some dislike that,
And most would have themselves they know not what.
Then he that would please all, and himself too,
Takes more in hand than he is like to do.

IV Mon. June hath xxx days.

Observe the daily circle of the sun,
And the short year of each revolving moon:
By them thou shalt foresee the following day,
Nor shall a starry night thy hopes betray.
When first the moon appears, if then she shrouds
Her silver crescent, tip’d with sable clouds,
Conclude she bodes a tempest on the main,
And brews for fields impetuous floods of rain.

V Mon. July hath xxxi days.

Ev’n while the reaper fills his greedy hands,
And binds the golden sheafs in brittle bands:
Oft have I seen a sudden storm arise
From all the warring winds that sweep the skies:
And oft whole sheets descend of slucy rain,
Suck’d by the spungy clouds from oft the main;
The lofty skies at once come pouring down,
The promis’d crop and golden labours drown.

VI Mon. August hath xxxi days.

For us thro’ 12 bright signs Apollo guides
The year, and earth in sev’ral climes divides.
Five girdles bind the skies, the torrid zone
Glows with the passing and repassing sun.
Far on the right and left, th’extreams of heav’n,
To frosts and snows and bitter blasts are giv’n.
Betwixt the midst and these, the Gods assign’d
Two habitable seats for humane kind.

VII Mon. September hath xxx days.

Death is a Fisherman, the world we see
His Fish-pond is, and we the Fishes be:
His Net some general Sickness; howe’er he
Is not so kind as other Fishers be;
For if they take one of the smaller Fry,
They throw him in again, he shall not die:
But Death is sure to kill all he can get,
And all is Fish with him that comes to Net.

VIII Mon. October hath xxxi days.

Time was my spouse and I could not agree,
Striving about superiority:
The text which saith that man and wife are one,
Was the chief argument we stood upon:
She held, they both one woman should become;
I held they should be man, and both but one.
Thus we contended daily, but the strife
Could not be ended, till both were one Wife.

IX Mon. November hath xxx days.

My neighbour H—-y by his pleasing tongue,
Hath won a Girl that’s rich, wise, fair and young,
The Match (he saith) is half concluded, he
Indeed is wondrous willing; but not she.
And reason good, for he has run thro’all
Almost the story of the Prodigal;
Yet swears he never with the hogs did dine;
That’s true, for none would trust him with their swine.

X Mon. December hath xxxi days.

She that will eat her breakfast in her bed,
And spend the morn in dressing of her head,
And sit at dinner like a maiden bride,
And talk of nothing all day but of pride;
God in his mercy may do much to save her,
But what a case is he in that shall have her.

III Mon. May [1734] hath xxxi days.

Wedlock, as old Men note, hath likened been,
Unto a publick Crowd or common Rout;
Where those that are without would fain get in,
And those that are within would fain get out.
Grief often treads upon the Heels of Pleasure,
Marry’d in Haste, we oft repent at Leisure;
Some by Experience find these Words misplac’ed,
Marry’d at Leisure, they repent in Haste.

XI Mon. January [1736] hath xxxi days.

Some have learnt many Tricks of sly Evasion,
Instead of Truth they use Equivocation,
And eke it out with mental Reservation,
Which to good Men is an Abomination.
Our Smith of late most wonderfully swore,
That whilst he breathed he would drink no more;
But since, I know his Meaning, for I think
He meant he would not breath whilst he did drink.

VI Mon. August [1742] hath xxxi days.

The Busy-Man’s Picture
BUSINESS, thou Plague and Pleasure of my Life,
Thou charming Mistress, thou vexatious Wife;
Thou Enemy, thou Friend, to Joy, to Grief,
Thou bring’st me all, and bring’st me no Relief,
Thou bitter, sweet, thou pleasing, teazing Thing,
Thou Bee, that with thy Honey wears a Sting;
Some Respite, prithee do, yet do not give,
I cannot with thee, nor without thee live.

VII Mon. September [1742] hath xxx days.

The Reverse
Studious of Ease, and fond of humble Things,
Below the Smiles, below the Frowns of Kings:
Thanks to my Stars, I prize the Sweets of Life,
No sleepless Nights I count, no Days of Strife.
I rest, I wake, I drink, I sometimes love,
I read, I write, I settle, or I rove;
Content to live, content to die unknown,
Lord of myself, accountable to none.

X Mon. December [1744] hath xxxi days.

This World’s an Inn, all Travellers are we;
And this World’s Goods th’Accommodations be.
Our Life is nothing but a Winter’s Day;
Some only break their Fast, and so away.
Others stay Dinner, and depart full fed.
The deepest Age but sups and goes to bed.
He’s most in Debt that lingers out the Day;
Who dies betimes has less and less to pay.

XII Mon. February [1746] hath xxviii days

Man’s rich with little, were his Judgment true,
Nature is frugal, and her Wants are few;
Those few Wants answer’d, bring sincere Delights,
But Fools create themselves new Appetites.
Fancy and Pride seek Things at vast Expence,
Which relish not to Reason nor to Sense
Like Cats in Airpumps, to subsist we strive
On Joys too thin to keep the Soul alive.

V Mon. July [1747] hath xxxi days.

Men drop so fast, ere Life’s mid Stage we tread,
Few know so many Friends alive as dead;
Yet, as immortal, in our uphill Chace,
We press coy Fortune with unslacken’d Pace;
Our ardent Labours for the Toy we seek,
Join Night to Day, and Sunday to the Week,
Our very Joys are anxious, and expire
Between Satiety and fierce Desire.

MAY. [1748] III Month.

Read much; the Mind, which never can be still,
If not intent on Good, is prone to Ill.
And where bright Thoughts, or Reas’nings just you find,
Repose them careful in your inmost Mind.
To deck his Chloe’s Bosom thus the Swain
With pleasing Toil surveys th’enamel’d Plain,
With Care selects each fragrant flow’r he meets,
And forms one Garland of their mingled sweets.

DECEMBER. [1757] XII Month.

Would you be well receiv’d where’er you go,
Remember each Man vanquish’d is a Foe:
Resist not therefore to your utmost Might,
But let the Weakest think he’s sometimes right;
He, for each Triumph you shall thus decline,
Shall give ten Opportunities to shine;
He sees, since once you own’d him to excel,
That ’tis his Interest you should reason well.

Leave a Reply