Friday, 25 November 2011

The Character Of A Happy Life

Sir Henry Wotton

How happy is he born or taught,
That serveth not another's will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his highest skill;

Whose passions not his masters are;
Whose soul is still prepar'd for death
Untied unto the world with care
Of princes' grace or vulgar breath;

Who envies none whom chance doth raise,
Or vice; who never understood
The deepest wounds are given by praise,
By rule of state, but not of good;

Who hath his life from rumours freed;
Whose conscience is his strong retreat;
Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
Nor ruins make accusers great;

Who God doth late and early pray,
More of his grace than goods to send,
And entertains the harmless day
With a well-chosen book or friend.

This man is free from servile bands
Of hope to rise or fear to fall;
Lord of himself, though not of lands;
And having nothing, yet hath all.

Sir Henry Wotton (1568 - 1639)

Who also said "Tell the truth and so puzzle and confound your adversaries."


Sam Vega said...

Excellent thoughts for a beautiful morning. I am going to check out this gentleman.

James Higham said...

The truth does indeed confound these days and so many question that someone could tell it.

A K Haart said...

SV - he didn't write much but seems to have led an interesting life.

JH - yes, it certainly confounds our leaders, they seem positively afraid of it.

Martin said...

And entertains the harmless day
With a well-chosen book or friend.

Pleasing thought, new to me!

A K Haart said...

Martin - yes, I came across him by accident.