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Though I'm mew'd up, yet I can chirp and sing,
Sir Roger L'Estrange.
THE MEANS TO ATTAIN HAPPY LIFE.
MARTIAL, the things that do attain
The happy life be these, I find-
The fruitful ground, the quiet mind,
No charge of rule, nor governance;
The household of continuance;
True wisdom join'd with simpleness;
Where wine the wit may not oppress ;
Such sleep as may beguile the night ;
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 sweet consort of mirth and music's fare.
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,
Of this great hive, the city.
Ah, yet, ere I descend to th' grave,
Both wise, and both delightful too !
And, since love ne'er will from me flee,
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,
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.
THE ANGLER'S WISH.
I IN these flowery meads would be;
Sit here, and see the turtle-dove
Or on that bank feel the west wind
Here, hear my Kenna sing a song;
Or, a laverock build her nest :
Thus, free from lawsuits and the noise
Of princes' courts, I would rejoice.
And angle on: and beg to have
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,
Together mix'd, sweet recreation
Thus, unlamented, let me die;
Tell where I lie.
There is none, O none but you,
Who from me estrange the sight,
And chained ears hear with delight.
In you I all the graces find ;
To make them happy that are kind,
Only seem you kind to me!
For that can't dissembled be.
Dear, afford me then your sight !
That, surveying all your looks,
And fill the world with envied books,
All shall wonder and despair,-
Robert, Earl of Essex.
Tell me no more I am deceived,
That Chloe's false and common;
She was a very woman:
She could do more for no man.
And that you think a hard thing!
And what care I one farthing ?
Does man her slave oppress,
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.