Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Oliver Wendell Holmes is Content You're Reading His Poetry

Are you content?

I’m not. Well, almost. Good enough for government work contentment, that’s what I’ve got. But like Mr. Burns, I’d give up all of my billions for just a little bit more.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., understands that contentment without being content about it is part of human nature. Witness this snatch from his poem of that title:

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 victuals 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.

The full poem can be found here. Or, if you’re in the mood for magenta, here.

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