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CONTENTMENT, AFTER THE MANNER OF HORACE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Friend, there be they on whom mishap
Last Line: Their carpet-bag.
Subject(s): Contentment

Friend, there be they on whom mishap
Or never or so rarely comes,
That, when they think thereof, they snap
Derisive thumbs:

And there be they who lightly lose
Their all, yet feel no aching void;
Should aught annoy them, they refuse
To be annoyed:

And fain would I be e'en as these!
Life is with such all beer and skittles;
They are not difficult to please
About their victuals:

The trout, the grouse, the early pea,
By such, if there, are freely taken;
If not, they munch with equal glee
Their bit of bacon:

And when they wax a little gay
And chaff the public after luncheon,
If they're confronted with a stray
Policeman's truncheon,

They gaze thereat with outstretched necks,
And laughter which no threats can smother,
And tell the horror-stricken X
That he's another.

In snowtime if they cross a spot
Where unsuspected boys have slid,
They would not fall down -- though they would not
Mind if they did:

When the spring rosebud which they wear
Breaks short and tumbles from its stem,
No thought of being angry e'er
Dawns upon them;

Though 'twas Jemima's hand that placed,
(As well you ween) at evening's hour,
In the love button-hole that chaste
And cherished flower.

And when they travel, if they find
That they have left their pocket-compass
Or Murray or thick boots behind,
They raise no rumpus,

But plod serenely on without:
Knowing it's better to endure
The evil which beyond all doubt
You cannot cure.

When for that early train they're late,
They do not make, their woes the text
Of sermons in the Times, but wait
On for the next;

And jump inside, and only grin
Should it appear that that dry wag,
The guard, omitted to put in
Their carpet-bag.

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