THE CHARACTER OF A HAPPY LIFE





Sir Henry Wotton





How happy is he born and taught,

That serveth not another's will;

Whose armor is his honest thought,

And simple truth, his utmost skill;



Whose passions not his masters are,

Whose soul is still prepared for death,

Untied unto the world by care

Of public fame or private breath;



Who envies none that chance doth raise,

Nor vice; who never 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 ruin make oppressors great;



Who God doth late and early pray,

More of his grace than gifts to lend,

And entertains the harmless day

With a religious book, or friend.



This man is freed from servile bands

Of hope to rise, or fear to fall;

Lord of himself, though not of lands,

And having nothing, yet hath all.





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