On Retirement

Original Text: 
The Poems of Philip Freneau, ed. Fred Lewis Pattee, I (New Jersey, 1902) : 84-85. PS 755 AZ University of Toronto at Mississauga
2          With forests planted round,
3          Whatever it to you may seem
4          More real happiness I deem
5          Than if I were a monarch crown'd.
6          A cottage I could call my own
7          Remote from domes of care;
8          A little garden walled with stone,
9          The wall with ivy overgrown,
10          A limpid fountain near,
11          Would more substantial joys afford,
12          More real bliss impart
13          Than all the wealth that misers hoard,
14          Than vanquish'd worlds, or worlds restored --
15          Mere cankers of the heart!
16          Vain, foolish man! how vast thy pride,
17          How little can your wants supply! --
18          'Tis surely wrong to grasp so wide --
19          You act as if you only had
20          To vanquish -- not to die!

Notes

1] Title and text from 1786 edition; retitled "The Wish of Diogenes in 1795. Published under the pseudonym "Hezekiah Salem." Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2004
Rhyme: 
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