from Otia Sacra


by Mildmay Fane

That which creates a happy life
Is substance left, not gained by strife,
A fertile and a thankful mold,
A chimney always free from cold;
Never to be the client, or
But seldom times the counselor.
A mind content with what is fit,
Whose strength doth most consist in with;
A body nothing prone to be
Sick; a prudent simplicity.
Such friends as one's own rank are;
Homely fare, not sought from far;
The table without art's help spread;
A night in wine not buriéd,
Yet drowning cares; a bed that's blest
With true joy, chastity, and rest;
Such short, sweet slumber as may give
Less time to die in 't, more to live:
    Thine own estate whate'er commend,
    And wish not for, nor fear thine end.

Maclean, Hugh, Ed. Ben Jonson and the Cavalier Poets
New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 1974. 205.

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