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Though I'm mew'd up, yet I can chirp and sing,
Disgrace to rebels, glory to my king.

Sir Roger L'Estrange.



MARTIAL, the things that do attain

The happy life be these, I find-
The riches left, not got with pain;

The fruitful ground, the quiet mind,
The equal friend; no grudge, no strife;

No charge of rule, nor governance;
Without disease, the healthful life;

The household of continuance;
The mean diet, no delicate fare;

True wisdom join'd with simpleness;
The night discharged of all care,

Where wine the wit may not oppress ;
The faithful wife, without debate;

Such sleep as may beguile the night ;
Contented with thine own estate,
Nor wish for death, nor fear his might.

Earl of Surrey.



SWEET are the thoughts that savour of content:

The quiet mind is richer than a crown; Sweet are the nights in careless slumber spent

The poor estate scorns Fortune's angry frown : Such sweet content, such minds, such sleep, such bliss, Beggars enjoy, when princes oft do miss. The homely house that harbours quiet rest,

The cottage that affords no pride or care,
The mean that 'grees with country music best,

The sweet consort of mirth and music's fare.
Obscured life sets down a type of bliss;
A mind content both crown and kingdom is.

Robert Greene.



WELL then; I now do plainly see This busy world and I shall ne'er agree; The very honey of all earthly joy

Does of all meats the soonest cloy;

And they, methinks, deserve my pity,
Who for it can endure the stings,
The crowd, and buz, and murmurings

Of this great hive, the city.

Ah, yet, ere I descend to th' grave,
May I a small house and large garden have !
And a few friends, and many books; both true,

Both wise, and both delightful too !

And, since love ne'er will from me flee,
A mistress moderately fair,
And good as guardian-angels are,

Only beloved, and loving me!

O, fountains ! when in you shall I Myself, eased of unpeaceful thoughts, espy? O fields ! O woods! when, when shall I be made

The happy tenant of your shade?

Here's the spring-head of Pleasure's flood; Where all the riches lie, that she

Has coin'd and stamp'd for good.

Pride and ambition here Only in far-fetch'd metaphors appear; Here nought but winds can hurtful murmurs scatter, And nought but Echo flatter.

The gods, when they descended, hither From Heaven did always choose their way; And therefore we may boldly say

That 'tis the way too thither.

How happy here should I,
And one dear She, live, and embracing die!
She, who is all the world, and can exclude

In deserts solitude.

I should have then this only fear Lest men, when they my pleasures see, Should hither throng to live like me, And so make a city here.

Abraham Cowley.



I IN these flowery meads would be;
These crystal streams should solace me;
To whose harmonious bubbling noise,
I with my angle will rejoice;

Sit here, and see the turtle-dove
Court his chaste mate to acts of love,

Or on that bank feel the west wind
Breathe health and plenty; please my mind
To see sweet dew-drops kiss these flowers,
And then wash'd off by April showers;

Here, hear my Kenna sing a song;
There, see a blackbird feed her young,

Or, a laverock build her nest :
Here, give my weary spirits rest,
And raise my low-pitch'd thoughts above
Earth, or what poor mortals love:

Thus, free from lawsuits and the noise

Of princes' courts, I would rejoice.
Or, with my Bryan and a book,
Loiter long days near Shawford brook;
There sit with him, and eat my meat,
There see the sun both rise and set,
There bid good morning to each day,
There meditate my time away,

And angle on: and beg to have
A quiet passage to a welcome grave.

Izaak Walton.


THE CONTENTED MAN. HAPPY the man whose wish and care

A few paternal acres bound, Content to breathe his native air

In his own ground. Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,

Whose flocks supply him with attire; Whose trees in summer yield him shade,

In winter, fire. Blest, who can unconcern’dly find

Hours, days, and years slide soft away In health of body, peace of mind,

Quiet by day,
Sound sleep by night; study and ease

Together mix'd, sweet recreation
And innocence, which most doth please

With meditation.
Thus let me live unseen, unknown;

Thus, unlamented, let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone

Tell where I lie.

Alexander Pope


There is none, O none but you,

Who from me estrange the sight,
Whom mine eyes affect to view,

And chained ears hear with delight.
Others' beauties others move :

In you I all the graces find ;
Such are the effects of love,

To make them happy that are kind,
Women in frail beauty trust;

Only seem you kind to me!
Still be truly kind and just,

For that can't dissembled be.

Dear, afford me then your sight !

That, surveying all your looks,
Endless volumes I may write,

And fill the world with envied books,
Which, when after ages view,

All shall wonder and despair,-
Women, to find a man so true,
And men, a woman half so fair !

Robert, Earl of Essex.

Tell me no more I am deceived,

That Chloe's false and common;
I always knew (at least believed)

She was a very woman:
As such I liked, as such caress'd,
She still was constant when possess’d,

She could do more for no man.
But O! her thoughts on others ran;

And that you think a hard thing!
Perhaps she fancied you the man ;

And what care I one farthing ?
You think she's false, I'm sure she's kind,
I take her body, you her mind, -
Who has the better bargain ?

William Congrere.



A Fragment.
FORTUNE, that, with malicious joy,

Does man her slave oppress,
Proud of her office to destroy,

Is seldom pleased to bless : Still various and unconstant still, But with an inclination to be ill,

Promotes, degrades, delights in strife,

And makes a lottery of life.
I can enjoy her while she's kind ;
But when she dances in the wind,

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