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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

The Means to Attain Happy Life

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1517–1547)

MARTIAL, the things that do attain

The happy life be these, I find:—

The riches 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.