Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1607–1764
Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. I–II: Colonial Literature, 1607–1764
The Wish
By Thomas Godfrey (1736–1763)
[From Juvenile Poems on Various Subjects. 1765.]

I ONLY ask a moderate fate,
And, though not in obscurity,
I would not, yet, be placed too high;
Between the two extremes I’d be,
Not meanly low, nor yet too great,        5
From both contempt and envy free.
  If no glittering wealth I have,
Content of bounteous heaven I crave,
For that is more
Than all the India’s shining store,        10
To be unto the dust a slave.
With heart, my little I will use,
Nor let pain my life devour,
Or for a griping heir refuse
Myself one pleasant hour.        15
  No stately edifice to rear;
My wish would bound a small retreat,
In temperate air, and furnished neat;
No ornaments would I prepare,
No costly labors of the loom        20
Should e’er adorn my humble room;
To gild my roof I naught require
But the stern Winter’s friendly fire.
  Free from tumultuous cares and noise,
If gracious Heaven my wish would give,        25
While sweet content augments my joys,
Thus my remaining hours I’d live.
By arts ignoble never rise,
The miser’s ill-got wealth despise;
But blest my leisure hours I’d spend,        30
The Muse enjoying, and my friend.

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