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The Means To Attain Happy Life

Henry Howard

Martial, the things that do attain
  The happy life be these, I find:—
The richesse left, not got with pain;
  The fruitful ground, the quiet mind;

The equal friend; no grudge, no strife;
  No charge of rule, nor governance;
Without disease, the healthful life;
  The household of continuance;

The mean diet, no delicate fare;
  True wisdom join’d with simpleness;
The night dischargèd of all care,
  Where wine the wit may not oppress.

The faithful wife, without debate;
  Such sleeps as may beguile the night:
Contented with thine own estate
  Ne wish for death, ne fear his might.
Online text © 1998-2014 Poetry X. All rights reserved.
From The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250-1900 | Clarendon, 1919
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