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English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Sir Henry Wotton

148. Character of a Happy Life

HOW happy is he born and taught

That serveth not another’s will;

Whose armour is his honest thought

And simple truth his utmost skill!

Whose passions not his masters are,

Whose soul is still prepared for death,

Not tied unto the world with care

Of public fame, or private breath;

Who envies none that chance doth raise

Or vice; Who never understood

How deepest wounds are given by praise;

Nor rules of state, but rules of good:

Who hath his life from rumours freed,

Whose conscience is his strong retreat;

Whose state can neither flatterers feed

Nor ruin make oppressors great;

Who God doth late and early pray

More of his grace than gifts to lend;

And entertains the harmless day

With a well-chosen book or friend:

—This man is freed from servile bands

Of hope to rise, or fear to fall;

Lord of himself, though not of lands;

And having nothing, yet hath all.