So called because they are “good as gold.” They are by some attributed to Epicarmos, and by others to Empedocles, but always go under the name of Pythagoras, and seem quite in accordance with the excellent precepts of that philosopher. They are as follows:
Ne'er suffer sleep thine eyes to close Before thy mind hath run O'er every act, and thought, and word, From dawn to set of sun; For wrong take shame, but grateful feel If just thy course hath been; Such effort day by day renewed Will ward thy soul from sin.
E. C. B.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894