Posted by: Democratic Thinker | September 20, 2013

The Character of A Happy Life





The Character of A Happy Life.


HOW happy is he born and taught,
That serveth not another’s will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill;

Whose passions not his masters are;
Whose soul is still prepar’d for death,
Unti’d unto the world by care
Of publick fame or private breath;

Who envies none that chance doth raise,
Nor vice; hath ever understood
How deepest wounds are given by praise,—
Nor rules of state, but rules of good;

Who hath his life from rumors freed;
Whose conscience is his strong retreat;
Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
Nor ruine make oppressors great;

Who God doth late and early pray,
More of his grace then gifts to lend,
And entertaines the harmless day
With a religious book or friend!

This man is freed from servile bands
Of hope to rise or feare to fall:—
Lord of himselfe, though not of lands,
And having nothing, yet hath all.

Henry Wotton (1614).