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Poem by Eugene Field
In Praise of Contentment
(HORACE'S ODES, III, I) I hate the common, vulgar herd! Away they scamper when I "booh" 'em! But pretty girls and nice young men Observe a proper silence when I chose to sing my lyrics to 'em. The kings of earth, whose fleeting pow'r Excites our homage and our wonder, Are precious small beside old Jove, The father of us all, who drove The giants out of sight, by thunder! This man loves farming, that man law, While this one follows pathways martial— What moots it whither mortals turn? Grim fate from her mysterious urn Doles out the lots with hand impartial. Nor sumptuous feasts nor studied sports Delight the heart by care tormented; The mightiest monarch knoweth not The peace that to the lowly cot Sleep bringeth to the swain contented. On him untouched of discontent Care sits as lightly as a feather; He doesn't growl about the crops, Or worry when the market drops, Or fret about the changeful weather. Not so with him who, rich in fact, Still seeks his fortune to redouble; Though dig he deep or build he high, Those scourges twain shall lurk anigh— Relentless Care, relentless Trouble! If neither palaces nor robes Nor unguents nor expensive toddy Insure Contentment's soothing bliss, Why should I build an edifice Where Envy comes to fret a body? Nay, I'd not share your sumptuous cheer, But rather sup my rustic pottage, While that sweet boon the gods bestow— The peace your mansions cannot know— Blesseth my lowly Sabine cottage.
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