Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VI. Fancy: Sentiment
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VI. Fancy.  1904.
 
Poems of Sentiment: VI. Labor and Rest
A Wish
Abraham Cowley (1618–1667)
 
THIS only grant me, that my means may lie
Too low for envy, for contempt too high.
    Some honor I would have,
Not from great deeds, but good alone;
The unknown are better than ill known:        5
    Rumor can ope the grave.
Acquaintance I would have, but when ’t depends
Not on the number, but the choice, of friends.
 
Books should, not business, entertain the light,
And sleep, as undisturbed as death, the night.        10
    My house a cottage more
Than palace; and should fitting be
For all my use, no luxury.
    My garden painted o’er
With Nature’s hand, not Art’s; and pleasures yield,        15
Horace might envy in his Sabine field.
 
Thus would I double my life’s fading space;
For he that runs it well twice runs his race.
    And in this true delight,
These unbought sports, this happy state,        20
I would not fear, nor wish, my fate;
    But boldly say each night,
To-morrow let my sun his beams display,
Or in clouds hide them; I have lived to-day.
 
 
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