On Retirement

(By Hezekiah Salem)

A hermit’s house beside a stream,
   With forests planted round,
Whatever it to you may seem
More real happiness I deem
   Than if I were a monarch crown’d.

A cottage I could call my own,
   Remote from domes of care;
A little garden walled with stone,
The wall with ivy overgrown,
   A limpid fountain near,

Would more substantial joys afford,
   More real bliss impart
Than all the wealth that misers hoard,
Than vanquish’d worlds, or worlds restored—
   Mere cankers of the heart!

Vain, foolish man! how vast thy pride,
   How little can your wants supply!—
’Tis surely wrong to grasp so wide—
You act as if you only had
   To vanquish—not to die!

This poem is in the public domain.