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I rest so pleased with what I have I wish no more, no more I crave.
Pleased rather with some soft ideal scene,
I quake not at the thunder's crack ;
I tremble not at news of war;
I shrink not at a blazing star;
envy none, I none disdain.
I see some Tantals starved in store ; I see gold's dropsy seldom eased;
I sec even Midas gape for more ;
I fawn not on the great (in show);
Neither too lofty nor too low : This, this is all my choice, my cheer, A mind content, a conscience clear.
THE WANTS OF MAN.
“Max wants but little here below,
Nor wants that little long." "T is not with me exactly so ;
But 't is so in the song.
Would muster many a score ; And were each wish a mint of gold,
I still should long for more.
THESEUS. More strange than truc: I never may
believe These antique fables, nor these fairy toys. Lovers and madmen have such seething brains, Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend More than cool reason ever comprehends. The lunatic, the lover, and the poet Are of imagination all compact : One sces more devils than vast hell can hold, That is, the madman ; the lover, all as frantic, Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt; The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling, Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to
heaven; And, as imagination bodies forth The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing A local habitation and a name.
What first I want is daily bread
And canvas-backs - and wine
Before me, when I dine.
My appetite to quell ;
To dress my dinner well.
Is elegant attire :
And silks for summer's fire,
My bosom's front to deck,
And rubies for my neck.
Affectionate and fair ;
And all its joys to share.
CONTENTMENT. I WEIGI not fortune's frown or sinile ;
I joy not much in earthly joys; I seek not state, I reck not style;
I am not fond of fancy's toys :
And close at hand is such a one,
Plain food is quite enough for me;
Three courses are as good as ten; If nature can subsist on three,
Thank Heaven for three. Amen! I always thought cold victual nice; My choice would be vanilla-ice.
I care not much for gold or land ;
Give me a mortgage here and there,
Or trifling railroad share,
of temper sweet, of yielding will,
Of firm, yet placid mind, —
With sentiment refined.
And Fortune fills my store,
From eight to half a score.
Such bliss on carth to crave?)
The boys all wise and brave.
To cheer the adverse hour;
Nor bend the knee to power, A friend to chide me when I'm wrong,
My inmost soul to see ;
For him as his for me.
The ensigns of command ;
To rule my native land.
But from my country's will,
Her cup of bliss to fill.
To follow me behind,
The friend of human-kind,
Exulting may proclaim
Their blessings on my name.
Honors are silly toys, I know,
And titles are but empty names ; I would, perhaps, be Plenipo,
But only near St. James ; I'm very sure I should not care To fill our Gubernator's chair.
Jewels are bawbles ; 't is a sin
To care for such unfruitful things ; One good-sized diamond in a pin,
Some, not so large, in rings, A ruby, and a pearl or so, Will do for me ;- I laugh at show.
My dame should dress in cheap attire ;
(Good heavy silks are never dear;)— I own perhaps I might desire
Some shawls of true Cashmere, Some marrowy crapes of China silk, Like wrinkled skins on scalded milk.
These are the Wants of mortal Man,
I cannot want them long,
And earthly bliss a song.
Is, when beneath the sod,
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. WASHINGTON, August 31, 1841.
I would not have the horse I drive
So fast that folks must stop and stare ; An easy gait, -- two, forty-five,
Suits me; I do not care ;-
Of pictures, I should like to own
Titians and Raphaels three or four, I love so much their style and tone,
One Turner, and no more, (A landscape, foreground golden dirt, The sunshine painted with a squirt.)
"Man wants but little here below."
LITTLE I ask ; my wants are few;
I only wish a hut of stone, (A very plain brown stone will do,)
That I may call my own;
Of books but few, — some fifty score
For daily use, and bound for wear; The rest upon an upper floor ;
Some little luxury there of red morocco's gilded gleam, And vellum rich as country cream.
And not what Heaven has done undo
By an unruly appetite.
THE PARISH REGISTER."
The world is full of beaten roads,
But yet so slippery withal, That where one walks secure 't is odds
A hundred and a hundred fall.
Untrodden paths are then the best,
Where the frequented are unsure ; And lie comes soonest to his rest
Whosc journey has been most secure.
It is content alone that makes
Our pilgrimage a pleasure here ; And who buys sorrow cheapest takes An ill commodity too dear.
Benold her single in the field,
A NOBLE peasant, Isaac Ashford, dicd. Noble he was, contemning all things mean, His truth unquestioned and his soul serene. Of no man's presence Isaac felt afraid ; At no man's question Isaac looked dismayed; Shame know him not, he dreaded no disgrace; Truth, simple truth, was written in his face ; Yet while the serious thought his soul approved, Cheerful he seemed, and gentleness he loved ; To bliss domestic he his heart resigned, And with the firmest had the fondest mind; Were others joyful, he looked smiling on, And gave allowance where he needed none; Good he refused with future ill to buy, Nor knew a joy that caused reflection's sigh; A friend to virtue, his unclouded breast No envy stung, no jealousy distressed ; (Bane of the poor ! it wounds their weaker mind To miss one favor which their neighbors find ;) Yet far was he from Stoic pride removed ; He felt humanely, and he warmly loved. I marked his action, when his infant died, And his old neighbor for offence was tried ; The still tears, stealing down that furtowed cheek, Spoke pity plainer than the tongue can speak. If pride were his, 't was not their vulgar pride Who in their base contempt the great deride ; Nor pride in learning, though my clerk agreed, If fate should call him, Ashford might succeed; Nor pride in rustic skill, although we knew None his superior, and his equals few; But if that spirit in his soul had place, It was the jealous pride that shuns disgrace; A pride in honost fame, by virtue gained In sturdy boys to virtuous labors trained ; Pride in the power that guards his country'scoast, And all that Englishımen enjoy and boast ; Pride in a life that slander's tongue defied, In fact, a noble passion misnamed pride.
No nightingale did ever chaunt
Will no one tell me what she sings?
Whate'er the theme, the maiden sang
He is the happy man whose life even now Shows somewhat of that happier life to come ; Who, doomed to an obscure but tranquil state, Is pleased with it, and, were he free to choose, Would make his fate his choice ; whom peace,
The world o'erlooks him in her busy search Obvious her goods, in no extreme they dwell ; Of objects, more illustrious in her view; There needs but thinking right and meaning well; And, occupied as carnestly as she,
And mourn our various portions as we please,
A HAPPY LIFE.
How happy is he born and taught
Whose armor is his honest thought, And shows him glories yet to be revealed.
And simple truth his utmost skill ! Not slothful he, though seeming unemployed,
Whose passions not his masters are, And censured oft as useless. Stillest streams
Whose soul is still prepared for death, Oft water fairest meadows, and the bird
Not tied unto the world with care That flutters least is longest on the wing.
Of public fame or private breath ; Who cnvies none that chance doth raise,
Or vice ; who never understood
How deepest wounds are given by praise ; HAPPINESS.
Nor rules of state, but rules of good ; ESSAY ON MAN."
Who hath his life from rumors freed,
Whose conscience is his strong retreat ; O HAPPINESS ! our being's end and aim !
Whose state can neither flatterers feed, Good, pleasure, casc, content! whate'er thy name:
Nor ruin make accusers great; That something still which prompts the eternal sigh
Who God doth late and early pray For which we bear to live or dare to die,
More of his grace than gifts to lend ; Which still so near us, yet beyond us lies,
And entertains the harmless day
With a well-chosen book or friend,
This man is freed from servile bands
Of hope to rise, or fear to fall; Or deep with diamonds in the flaming mine?
Lord of himself, though not of lands;
And, having nothing, yet hath all.
THE HERMIT. Fixed to no spot is happiness sincere, 'T is nowhere to be found, or everywhere :
At the close of the day, when the hamlet is still,
And mortals the sweets of forgetfulness prove, *T is never to be bought, but always free,
When naught but the torrent is heard on the hill, And fled from monarchs, St. John ! dwells with
And naught but the nightingale's song in the grove, thee.
’T was thus, by the cave of the mountain afar, Ask of the learned the way? The learned are
While his harprung symphonious, a hermit began;
No more with himself or with nature at war, This bids to serve, and that to shun mankind; Sone place the bliss in action, soine in ease,
He thought as a sage, though he felt as a man : Those call it pleasure, and contentment these ; “Ah! why, all abandoned to darkness and woe, Some, sunk to beasts, find pleasure end in pain ; Why, lone Philomela, that languishing fall ? Some, swelled to gods, confess even virtue vain ! For spring shall return, and a lover bestow, Or, indolent, to each extreme they fall, - And sorrow no longer thy bosom inthrall. To trust in everything, or doubt of all.
But, if pity inspire thee, renew the sad lay, Who thus define it, say they more or less Mourn, sweetest complainer, man calls thee to Than this, that happiness is happiness ?
mourn ! Take nature's path, and mad opinion's leave ; 0,soothe him whose pleasures like thine pass away! All states can reach it, and all heads conceive; Full quickly they pass, - but they never return.
SIR HENRY WOTTON.