« FöregåendeFortsätt »
I have no policies to make me seem
A man well-worthy of the world's esteem;
Nor have I hope, I shall hereafter grow
To any more regard for saying so.
I have no doubt, though here a slighted thing,
But I am favourite to Heaven's great King ;
Nor have I fear, but all that's good in me
Shall in my life or death rewarded be. .
But yet, I have not that attain’d, for which
Those who account this nothing, think me rich ;
Nor that, which they do reckon worth esteem,
To whom the riches of the mind do seem
A scornful poverty. But let that go :
Men cannot prize the pearls they do not know ;
Nor have I power to teach them ; for if I
Should here consume my gift of poesy,
And wholly waste my spirits to express
What rich contents a poor estate may bless,
It were impossible to move the sense
Of those brave things in their intelligence.
I have not found on what I may rely,
Unless it carry some divinity
To make me confident; for, all the glory
And all hopes fail, in things mere transitory.
What man is there among us, doth not know A thousand men this night to bed will go,
Of many a hundred goodly things possest,
That shall have nought to-morrow but a chest
And one poor sheet to lie in? What I may
Next morning have, I know not; but to-day,
A friend, meat, drink, and fitting clothes to wear ;
Some books and papers, which my jewels are ;
A servant and a horse : all this I have,
And when I die, one promis’d me a grave
A grave, that quiet closet of content;
And I have built myself a monument.
But, as I live, excepting only this,
Which of my wealth the inventory is,
I have so little, I my oath might save,
If I should take it, that I nothing have.
AND yet, what want I? or who knoweth how
be richer made than I am now?
Or what great peer or wealthy alderman
Bequeath his son so great a fortune can?
I nothing want that needful is to have,
Songht I no more than nature bids me crave;
For, as we see, the smallest phials may
As full as greatest glasses be, though they
Much less contain; so my small portion gives
That full content to me, in which he lives,
Who most possesseth; and with larger store
I might fill others, but myself no more.
I want not temperance, to rest content
With what the providence of God hath lent;
Nor want I a sufficiency, to know
way to use it, if he more bestow :
For, as when me one horse would easier bear,
To ride on two at once it madness were,
And, as when one small bowl might quench my
thirst, To lift a vessel that my back might burst, Were wond'rous folly; so absurd a thing It were in me, should I neglect a spring, Whose plenty may a country's want supply, To dwell by some small pool that would be dry. If therefore ought do happen in the way Which on a just occasion seek I may, I want not resolution to make trial, Nor want I patience, if I have denial.
Men ask me what preferment I have gain’d, What riches by my studies are attain'd; And those that fed and fatten'd are with draff For their destruction, please themselves to laugh
At my low fate; as if I nought had got,
For my enriching, 'cause they saw it not.
Alas! that mole-ey'd issue cannot see
What patrimonies are bestow'd on me :
There is a braver wealthiness than what
They, by abundance, have arrived at.
Had I their wealth, I should not sleep the more
Securely for it ; and, were I as poor
In outward fortunes as men shipwreck'd are,
I should of poverty have no more fear,
Than if I had the riches and the powers
Of all the Eastern Kings and Emperors.
For grass, though trod into the earth, may grow,
And highest cedars have an overthrow.
Yea, I have seen as many beggar'd by
Their father's wealth and much prosperity,
As have by want misdone. And for each one,
Whom by his riches I advanc'd have known,
I three could reckon, who, through being poor,
Have rais'd their fortunes and their friends the more.
To what contents do men most wealthy mount,
Which I enjoy not, if their cares we count?
My cloathing keeps me full as warm as their ;
My meats unto my taste as pleasing are;
I feed enough my hunger to suffice;
I sleep, till I myself am pleas’d to rise ;
My dreams as sweet and full of quiet be;
My waking cares as seldom trouble me;
I have as oftentimes a sunny day,
And sport, and laugh, and sing, as well as they;
I breathe as wholesome and as sweet an air,
As loving as my mistress, and as fair ;
My body is as healthy, and I find
As little cause of sickness in my mind;
I am as wise, I think, as some of those,
And oft myself as foolishly dispose :
For, of the wisest, I am none, as yet,
And I have nigh as little hair as wit :
Of neither, have I ought to let to farm,
Nor so much want I, as may keep me warm.
I find my liver sound, my joints well knit :
Youth and good diet are my doctors yet ;
Nor on potatoes or eringoes feed I;
No meats restorative, to raise me, need I;
Nor ambergris, with other things confected,
To take away the stink of lungs infected.
I ne'er in need of 'pothecary stood,
Or any surgeon's hand to let me blood;
For since the rod my tutor hurled by,
I have not meddled with phlebotomy.
As good as other men's my senses be;
Each limb I have, as able is in me;