The Merry Heart by Henry Hart Milman

I would not from the wise require
The lumber of their learned lore ;
Nor would I from the rich desire
A single counter of their store.
For I have ease, and I have health.
And I have spirits, light as air;
And more than wisdom, more than wealth,—
A merry heart, that laughs at care.

At once, ’tis true, two ‘witching eyes
Surprised me in a luckless season,
Turn’d all my mirth to lonely sighs,
And quite subdued my better reason.
Yet ‘t was but love could make me grieve,
And love you know ‘s a reason fair,
And much improved, as I believe,
The merry heart, that laugh’d at care.

So now from idle wishes clear
I make the good I may not find;
Adown the stream I gently steer.
And shift my sail with every wind.
And half by nature, half by reason,
Can still with pliant heart prepare,
The mind, attuned to every season,
The merry heart, that laughs at care.

Yet, wrap me in your sweetest dream,
Ye social feelings of the mind,
Give, sometimes give, your sunny gleam,
And let the rest good-humour find.
Yes, let me hail and welcome give
To every joy my lot may share,
And pleased and pleasing let me live
With merry heart, that laughs at care.

From: Howitt, Mary Botham; Keats, John; and Milman, Henry Hart, The Poetical Works of Howitt, Milman, and Keats, Complete in One Volume, 1840, Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co: Philaderlphia, pp. 450-451.

Date: 1829

By: Henry Hart Milman (1791-1868)

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