The Character of a Happy Life

Original Text: 
Reliquiae Wottonianae (London: Thomas Maxey for R. Marriot, G. Bedel, and T. Garthwait, 1651). PR 2397 R44 1651 Victoria College Library
1How happy is he born or taught,
2That serveth not another's will;
3Whose armour is his honest thought,
4And simple truth his highest skill;
5Whose passions not his masters are;
6Whose soul is still prepar'd for death
7Untied unto the world with care
8Of princes' grace or vulgar breath;
9Who envies none whom chance doth raise,
10Or vice; who never understood
11The deepest wounds are given by praise,
12By rule of state, but not of good;
13Who hath his life from rumours freed;
14Whose conscience is his strong retreat;
15Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
16Nor ruins make accusers great;
17Who God doth late and early pray,
18More of his grace than goods to send,
19And entertains the harmless day
20With a well-chosen book or friend.
21This man is free from servile bands
22Of hope to rise or fear to fall;
23Lord of himself, though not of lands;
24And having nothing, yet hath all.
Publication Start Year: 
1651
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
2RP.1.251; RPO 1996-2000.
Rhyme: