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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Sir Henry Wotton (1568–1639)

Character of a Happy Life

HOW happy is he born and taught

That serveth not another’s will;

Whose armor is his honest thought,

And simple truth his utmost skill!

Whose passions not his masters are,

Whose soul is still prepared for death,

Untied unto the world by care

Of public fame or private breath;

Who envies none that chance doth raise,

Nor vice; hath ever understood

How deepest wounds are given by praise;

Nor rules of State, but rules of good:

Who hath his life from rumors 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 religious 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.