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And some delight to me the while,
Tho' nature now does weep in rain, To think that I have seen her smile, And haply may I do again.
If the all-ruling power please,
We then shall have a day or two,
Perhaps a week, wherein to try What the best master's hand can do, With the most deadly killing flie:
A day, with not too bright a beam,
And, master, half our work is done.
There, whilst behind some bush we wait,
And think ourselves in such an hour, Happier than those, tho' not so high, Who, like leviathans, devour
Of meaner men the smaller fry.
This, my best friend, at my poor home,
LIKE hermit poor, in pensive place obscure,
Where none but love shall ever find me out :
gown of grey my body shall attire,
The couch is fram'd whereon my limbs I'll lay :
My food shall be of care and sorrow made,
My drink nought else but tears fall'n from mine eyes, And for my light in this obscure shade,
The flames may serve which from my heart arise. And at my gates, &c.
My mind to me a kingdom is,
Such perfect joy therein I find, As far excels all earthly bliss
That God or nature hath assign'd. Tho' much I want that most wou'd have, Yet still my mind forbids to crave.
Content I live, this is my stay,
I seek no more than may suffice; I press to bear no haughty sway;
Look what I lack my mind supplies. Lo! thus I triumph like a king, Content with that my mind doth bring.
I see how plenty surfeits oft,
No princely pomp, or wealthy store,
To none of these I yield as thrall;
Some have too much, yet still they crave,
They are but poor, though much they have;
I laugh not at another's loss;
I grudge not at another's gain :
My wealth is health, and perfect ease; My conscience clear, my chief defence: I never seek by bribes to please,
Nor by desert to give offence: Thus do I live, thus will I die: Would all did so as well as I!
I joy not in no earthly bliss;
I weigh not Croesus's wealth a straw:
care, I care not what it is;
I fear not fortune's fatal law:
My mind is such as may not move
I wish but what I have at will;
I wander not to seek for more; I like the plain, I climb no hill;
In greatest storms I sit on shore, And laugh at them that toil in vain To get what must be lost again.
I kiss not where I wish to kill;
I feign not love where most I hate;
I break no sleep to win my will;
I wait not at the mighty's gate;
The court, ne cart, I like ne loath,
Extremes are counted worst of all; The golden mean betwixt them both
Doth surest fit, and fears no fall. This is my choice: for why? I find No wealth is like a quiet mind.
Calliope, a Collection of Songs.
HEAV'N, what an age is this! what race
Thus fly in the Almighty's face,