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Character of a Happy Life

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.

_--Sir H. Wotton_

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