Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
What Is Happiness?
By Joseph Brown Ladd (1764–1786)
 
’T IS an empty, fleeting shade,
By imagination made:
’T is a bubble, straw, or worse
’T is a baby’s hobby-horse:
’T is two hundred shillings clear;        5
’T is ten thousand pounds a year:
’T is a title, ’t is a name;
’T is a puff of empty fame;
Fickle as the breezes blow;
’T is a lady’s yes or no!        10
And when the description’s crown’d,
’T is just no where to be found.
  Arouet shows, I must confess,
Says Delia, what is happiness;
I wish he now would tell us what        15
This self-same happiness is not.
  What happiness is not? I vow,
That, Delia, you have posed me now:
What it is not—stay, let me see—
I think, dear maid, ’t is—not for me.        20
 
 
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