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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
A Winter’s Tale
By Joseph Rodman Drake (1795–1820)
 
From ‘The Croakers’

        
“A merry heart goes all the way,
    A sad one tires in a mile-a.”
WINTER’S TALE.    

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 1 called a Congressman,
    And Paulding called 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!”
 
Note 1. Henry Meigs of New York, a Congressman from 1819 to 1821 in the Sixteenth Congress. [back]
 
 
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