RETURN TO Carry On Tuesday

Saturday 9 July 2011

Carry On Tuesday Plus # 113

A poem can stir all of the senses, and the subject matter of a poem can range from being funny to being sad. I hope that you like this poem and the sentiments in the words of Contentment by Oliver Wendell Holmes


a poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes


"Man wants but little here below"

Little I ask; my wants are few;

I only wish a hut of stone,

(A very plain brown stone will do,)

That I may call my own;

And close at hand is such a one,

In yonder street that fronts the sun.

Plain food is quite enough for me;

Three courses are as good as ten;

If Nature can subsist on three,

Thank Heaven for three. Amen!

I always thought cold victual nice;

My choice would be vanilla-ice.

I care not much for gold or land;

Give me a mortgage here and there,

Some good bank-stock, some note of hand,

Or trifling railroad share,

I only ask that Fortune send

A little more than I shall spend.

Honors are silly toys, I know,

And titles are but empty names;

I would, perhaps, be Plenipo,

But only near St. James;

I'm very sure I should not care

To fill our Gubernator's chair.

Jewels are baubles; 't is a sin

To care for such unfruitful things;

One good-sized diamond in a pin,

Some, not so large, in rings,

A ruby, and a pearl, or so,

Will do for me; - I laugh at show.

My dame should dress in cheap attire;

(Good, heavy silks are never dear;)

I own perhaps I might desire

Some shawls of true Cashmere,

Some marrowy crapes of China silk,

Like wrinkled skins on scalded milk.

I would not have the horse I drive

So fast that folks must stop and stare;

An easy gait - two forty-five

Suits me; I do not care;

Perhaps, for just a single spurt,

Some seconds less would do no hurt.

Of pictures, I should like to own

Titians and Raphaels three or four,

I love so much their style and tone,

One Turner, and no more,

(A landscape, - foreground golden dirt,

The sunshine painted with a squirt.)

Of books but few, - some fifty score

For daily use, and bound for wear;

The rest upon an upper floor;

Some little luxury there

Of red morocco's gilded gleam

And vellum rich as country cream.

Busts, cameos, gems, such things as these,

Which others often show for pride,

I value for their power to please,

And selfish churls deride;

One Stradivarius, I confess,

Two Meerschaums, I would fain possess.

Wealth's wasteful tricks I will not learn,

Nor ape the glittering upstart fool;

Shall not carved tables serve my turn,

But all must be of buhl?

Give grasping pomp its double share,

I ask but one recumbent chair.

Thus humble let me live and die,

Nor long for Midas' golden touch;

If Heaven more generous gifts deny,

I shall not miss them much,

Too grateful for the blessing lent

Of simple tastes and mind content!