Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CARELESS CONTENT, by JOHN BYROM



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

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CARELESS CONTENT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I am content, I do not care, / wag as it will the world for me
Last Line: I am content, I do not care.
Subject(s): Contentment


I AM content, I do not care,
Wag as it will the world for me;
When fuss and fret was all my fare,
It got no ground, as I could see:
So when away my caring went,
I counted cost, and was content.

With more of thanks, and less of thought,
I strive to make my matters meet;
To seek what ancient sages sought,
Physic and food, in sour and sweet:
To take what passes in good part,
And keep the hiccups from the heart.

With good and gentle-humoured hearts,
I choose to chat where'er I come,
Whate'er the subject be that starts;
But if I get among the glum,
I hold my tongue to tell the troth,
And keep my breath to cool my broth.

For chance or change, of peace or pain,
For Fortune's favour or her frown;
For lack or glut, for loss or gain,
I never dodge, nor up nor down:
But swing what way the ship shall swim,
Or tack about with equal trim.

I suit not where I shall not speed,
Nor trace the turn of ev'ry tide;
If simple sense will not succeed,
I make no bustling, but abide:
For shining wealth or scaring woe,
I force no friend, I fear no foe.

Of Ups and Downs, of Ins and Outs,
Of they're i'th' wrong, and we're i'th' right,
I shun the rancours and the routs,
And wishing well to every wight,
Whatever turn the matter takes,
I deem it all but ducks and drakes.

With whom I feast I do not fawn,
Nor, if the folks should flout me, faint;
If wonted welcome be withdrawn,
I cook no kind of a complaint:
With none disposed to disagree,
But like them best, who best like me.

Not that I rate myself the rule
How all my betters should behave;
But fame shall find me no man's fool,
Nor to a set of men a slave:
I love a friendship free and frank,
And hate to hang upon a hank.

Fond of a true and trusty tie,
I never lose where'er I link,
Though if a bus'ness budges by,
I talk thereon just as I think:
My word, my work, my heat, my hand,
Still on a side together stand.

If names or notions make a noise,
Whatever hap the question hath,
The point impartially I poise,
And read or write, out without wrath;
For should I burn or break my brains,
Pray, who will pay me for my pains?

I love my neighbour as myself,
Myself like him too, by his leave;
Nor to his pleasure, pow'r or pelf,
Came I to crouch, as I conceive:
Dame Nature doubtless has designed
A man, the monarch of his mind.

Now taste and try this temper, sirs,
Mood it and brood it in your breast;
Or if ye ween, for worldly stirs,
That man does right to mar his rest,
Let me be deft and debonair,
I am content, I do not care.





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