Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CHARACTER OF A HAPPY LIFE, by HENRY WOTTON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE CHARACTER OF A HAPPY LIFE, by             Poem Explanation     Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: How happy is he born and taught
Last Line: And, having nothing, yet hath all.
Variant Title(s): The Happy Life;a Good Man;lord Of Himself;of A Happy Life
Subject(s): Freedom; Happiness; Life; Religion; Liberty; Joy; Delight; Theology

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,
Not tied unto the world with care
Of public fame or private breath;
Who envies none that chance doth raise,
Or vice; who never 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 accusers great;
Who God doth late and early pray
More of his grace than gifts to lend,
And entertains the harmless day
With a well-chosen 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.

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