Poem of the day

Careless Content
by John Byrom (1692-1763)

I am content; I do not care,
      Wag as it will the World for me;
When Fuss and Fret was all my fare,
      It got no ground, as I could see:
So when away my Caring went,
I counted Cost and was Content.

With more of Thanks and less of Thought,
      I strive to make my Matters meet;
To seek what ancient Sages sought,
      Physic and Food, in sour and sweet:
To take what passes in good Part,
And keep the Hiccups from the Heart.

With good and gentle-humour’d Hearts
      I choose to chat, where’er I come,
Whate”er the Subject be that starts;
      But if I get among the Glum,
I hold my Tongue, to tell the Truth,
And keep my Breath to cool my Broth.

For Chance or Change, of Peace or Pain
      For Fortune’s Favor or her Frown,
For Luck or Glut, for Loss or Gain,
      I never dodge, nor up nor down:
But swing what Way the Ship shall swim,
Or tack about, with equal Trim.

I suit not where I shall not speed,
      Nor trace the Turn of ev’ry Tide;
If simple Sense will not succeed,
      I make no Bustling, but abide;
For shining Wealth, or scaring Woe,
I force no Friend, I fear no Foe.

Of Ups and Downs, of Ins and Outs,
      Of they’re-i’ th’ wrong and we’re i’ th’ right,
I shun the Rancours and the Routs;
      And wishing well to every Wight,
Whatever Turn the Matter takes,
I deem it all but Ducks and Drakes.

With whom I feast I do not fawn,
      Nor if the folks should flout me, faint
If wonted Welcome be withdrawn,
      I cook no Kind of a Complaint,
With none disposed to disagree,
I like them best, who best like me.

Not that I rate myself the Rule
      How all my Betters should behave;
But Fame shall find me no Man’s Fool,
      Nor to a Set of Men a Slave:
I love a Friendship free and frank,
But hate to hang upon a Hank.

Fond of a true and trusty Tie,
      I never loose where’er I link;
Tho’ if a Bus’ness budges by,
      I talk thereon just as I think;:
My Word, my Work, my Heart, my Hand,
Still on a Side together stand.

If Names or Notions make a noise,
      Whatever Hap the Question hath,
The Point impartially I poise,
      And read, or write, but without Wrath;
For, should I burn or break my Brains,
Pray, who will pay me for my Pains?

I love my Neighbour as myself,
      Myself like him too, by his Leave;
Nor to his Pleasure, Pow’r, or Pelf,
      Came I to crouch, as I conceive;:
Dame Nature doubtless has design’d
A Man the Monarch of his Mind.

Now taste and try this Temper, Sirs,
      Mood it, and brood it in your Breast;
Or if ye ween, for worldly Stirs,
      That Man does right to mar his Rest,
Let me be left, and debonair:
I am content; I do not care.

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