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Short poem

Henry Howard, earl of Surrey (1517?-1547)

The Things That Cause a Quiet Life
(Written by Martial)

              1My friend, the things that do attain
              2The happy life be these, I find:
              3The riches left, not got with pain,
              4The fruitful ground; the quiet mind;

              5The equal friend; no grudge, no strife;
              6No charge of rule nor governance;
              7Without disease the healthy life;
              8The household of continuance;

              9The mean diet, no dainty fare;
            10True wisdom joined with simpleness;
            11The night discharged of all care,
            12Where wine the wit may not oppress;

            13The faithful wife, without debate;
            14Such sleeps as may beguile the night:
            15Content thyself with thine estate,
            16Neither wish death, nor fear his might.


1] A translation of Martial, Epigrams, X, 47.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: William Baldwin, A treatise of morall philosophie (1547). STC 1253. Facs. edn. (Gainsville: Scholars' Facsimiles and Reprints, 1967). BJ 1551 B35 1620a Victoria College Library
First publication date: 1547
RPO poem editor: N. J. Endicott
RP edition: 2RP 1.87.
Recent editing: 4:2002/5/29

Rhyme: abab

Other poems by Henry Howard, earl of Surrey