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A Vote (excerpt)

Abraham Cowley 1618 (London) – 1667 (London)

...
  This only grant me: that my means may lie
  Too low for envy, for contempt too high.
  Some honour I would have,
  Not from great deeds, but good alone;
  Th' ignote are better than ill-known,
  Rumour can ope the grave.
  Acquaintance I would hug, but when 't depends
  Not from the number, but the choice of friends.

  Books should, not bus'ness, entertain the light,
  And sleep, as undisturb'd as death, the night.
  My house a cottage, more
  Than palace, and should fitting be
  For all my use, no luxury.
  My garden painted o'er
  With Nature's hand, not Art's, and pleasures yield
  Horace might envy in his Sabine field.

  Thus would I double my life's fading space,
  For he that runs it well, twice runs his race.
  And in this true delight,
  These unbought sports and happy state
  I would not fear, nor wish my fate,
  But boldly say each night,
  To-morrow let my sun his beams display,
  Or in clouds hide them; I have liv'd to-day.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

52 sec read
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Abraham Cowley

Abraham Cowley was an English poet born in the City of London late in 1618. He was one of the leading English poets of the 17th century, with 14 printings of his Works published between 1668 and 1721. more…

All Abraham Cowley poems | Abraham Cowley Books

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