Henry Howard

I find it interesting that the crux of the themes referenced in this poem, written quite a few centuries ago, still hold true today; our quest for a harmonious and balanced life remains a goal to strive for. That’s part of what makes history so remarkable; the idea that time progresses, but that the basic human tendencies remain largely the same, is really one to think about. Time seems to be exponential, but the intrinsic humanness of emotions, wants, needs, desires, etc., are as real today as they were eons ago.

The Things that Cause a Quiet Life.

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1516 – 1547).

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

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

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

The faithful wife, without debate;
Such sleeps as may beguile the night;
Contented with thine own estate,
Neither wish death, nor fear his might.


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