Poem: To Content by E. O'S (Edward O'Shaughnessy)

Content! thy throne as was thy birth,
Is in supernal realms; of earth
   No denizen art thou;
Then, much as I may wish thee mine,
I will not bend before thy shrine,
   Nor waste for thee one verse.

Thou art the theme of poets' lays,
The idol of the sages' praise,
   Who bid mankind be free
From human passions and desires,
All the wild tumults hope inspires,
   And seek alone for thee.

'Twere right; did not experience teach
How useless is the truth they preach;
   "Content is happiness."
We know it, but as well we know
There is no happiness below,
   Thou stranger here no less.

The tenant of the lowly cot
Finds thee no sharer of his lot,
   As dreaming bards still chime;
Thou fliest from peasant, prince, and sage,
From ardent youth, from hopeless age,
   From sex, and rank, and clime.

Wealth, rank, and power, lead mortals on
With hopes of joy that oft is won,
   Tho' short, imperfect, vain,
But who seeks thee, and spurns at these,
Seeks what on earth heaven's fixed decrees
   Forbid him to attain.

Star of their course, let virtue shine,
And all they may of bliss divine,
   She gives mankind to feel,
And gives to those who seek the strife,
Of power and fame, as those whose life
   Ne'er own'd ambition's zeal.

Then goddess, tho' thy lover, I
Forswear myself thy votary, --
   To Hope alone I bow;
Whose joys, still withering and still blooming,
Are yet more real than aught illuming
   This dreary path below.

First published in The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, 5 April 1831

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on September 26, 2009 9:19 AM.

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