Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
70. The Man Who Frets at Worldly Strife
By Joseph Rodman Drake
THE MAN who frets at worldly strife
  Grows sallow, sour, and thin;
Give us the lad whose happy life
  Is one perpetual grin:
He, Midas-like, turns all to gold,—        5
  He smiles when others sigh,
Enjoys alike the hot and cold,
  And laughs through wet and dry.
There ’s fun in everything we meet,—
  The greatest, worst, and best;        10
Existence is a merry treat,
  And every speech a jest:
Be ’t ours to watch the crowds that pass
  Where Mirth’s gay banner waves;
To show fools through a quizzing-glass,        15
  And bastinade the knaves.
The serious world will scold and ban,
  In clamor loud and hard,
To hear Meigs called a Congressman,
  And Paulding styled a bard;        20
But, come what may, the man’s in luck
  Who turns it all to glee,
And laughing, cries, with honest Puck,
  “Good Lord! what fools ye be.”


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