Saturday, October 23, 2010


The Top of My Desires

John Oldham (1653-1683), from A Satire Addressed to a Friend That is About to Leave the University, and Come Abroad in the World:
'T has ever been the top of my desires,
The utmost height to which my wish aspires,
That Heaven would bless me with a small estate,
Where I might find a close obscure retreat;
There, free from noise and all ambitious ends,
Enjoy a few choice books, and fewer friends,
Lord of myself, accountable to none,
But to my conscience, and my God alone:
There live unthought of, and unheard of die,
And grudge mankind my very memory.
But since the blessing is, I find, too great
For me to wish for, or expect of fate;
Yet, maugre all the spite of destiny,
My thoughts and actions are, and shall be, free.
Charles Spencelayh, A Lover of Dickens

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