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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.


Edward Lysaght (1765–1814)

EASE often visits shepherd-swains,

Nor in the lowly cot disdains

To take a bit of dinner;

But would not for a turtle-treat,

Sit with a miser or a cheat,

Or cankered party sinner.

Ease makes the sons of labour glad,

Ease travels with the merry lad

Who whistles by his wagon;

With me she prattles all day long,

And choruses my simple song,

And shares my foaming flagon.

The lamp of life is soon burnt out;

Then who’d for riches make a rout,

Except a doating blockhead?

When Charon takes ’em both aboard,

Of equal worth’s the miser’s hoard

And spendthrift’s empty pocket.

In such a scurvy world as this

We must not hope for perfect bliss,

And length of life together;

We have no moral liberty

At will to live, at will to die,

In fair or stormy weather.

Many, I see, have riches plenty—

Fine coaches, livery, servants twenty;—

Yet envy never pains me;

My appetite’s as good as theirs,

I sleep as sound, as free from fears;

I’ve only what maintains me!

And while the precious joys I prove

Of Tom’s true friendship—and the love

Of bonny black-eyed Jenny,—

Ye gods! my wishes are confined

To—health of body, peace of mind,

Clean linen, and a guinea!