Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
Happy He
Anonymous
 
                      HAPPY he
                  Who, to sweet home retired,
                  Shuns glory so admired;
                And to himself lives free!
Whilst he who strives, with pride, to climb the skies,        5
Falls down, with foul disgrace, before he rise!
 
                      Let who will
                  The Active Life commend;
                  And all his travails bend
                Earth with his fame to fill!        10
Such fame, so forced, at last dies with his death;
Which life maintained by others’ idle breath!
 
                      My delights
                  To dearest home confined,
                  Shall there make good my mind;        15
                Not awed with Fortune’s spites!
High trees, heaven blasts! Winds shake and honours fell;
When lowly plants, long time in safety dwell.
 
                      All I can,
                My worldly strife shall be,        20
                They, one day, say of me,
                ‘He died a good old man!’
On his sad soul a heavy burden lies,
Who, known to all, unknown to himself, dies!
 
 
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