Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Georgian Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Georgian Verse.  1909.
 
Ambition
By Edward Lysaght (1765–1814)
 
EASE often visits shepherd-swains,
Nor in the lowly cot disdains
      To take a bit of dinner;
But would not for a turtle-treat,
Sit with a miser or a cheat,        5
      Or cankered party sinner.
 
Ease makes the sons of labour glad,
Ease travels with the merry lad
      Who whistles by his wagon;
With me she prattles all day long,        10
And choruses my simple song,
      And shares my foaming flagon.
 
The lamp of life is soon burnt out;
Then who’d for riches make a rout,
      Except a doating blockhead?        15
When Charon takes ’em both aboard,
Of equal worth’s the miser’s hoard
      And spendthrift’s empty pocket.
 
In such a scurvy world as this
We must not hope for perfect bliss,        20
      And length of life together;
We have no moral liberty
At will to live, at will to die,
      In fair or stormy weather.
 
Many, I see, have riches plenty—        25
Fine coaches, livery, servants twenty;—
      Yet envy never pains me;
My appetite’s as good as theirs,
I sleep as sound, as free from fears;
      I’ve only what maintains me!        30
 
And while the precious joys I prove
Of Tom’s true friendship—and the love
      Of bonny black-eyed Jenny,—
Ye gods! my wishes are confined
To—health of body, peace of mind,        35
      Clean linen, and a guinea!
 
 
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