Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VI. Fancy: Sentiment
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VI. Fancy.  1904.
Poems of Sentiment: II. Life
The Character of a Happy Life
Sir Henry Wotton (1568–1639)
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;        5
  Whose soul is still prepared for death,
Not tied unto the world with care
  Of public fame or private breath;
Who envies none that chance doth raise,
  Or vice; who never understood        10
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,        15
  Nor ruin make accusers great;
Who God doth late and early pray
  More of his grace than gifts to lend,
And entertains the harmless day
  With a well-chosen book or friend,—        20
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.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.