Saturday, May 11, 2013


Unfit for Greatness

Charles Churchill (1732-1764), "Night: An Epistle to Robert Lloyd," lines 179-194:
Foe to restraint, unpractis'd in deceit,
Too resolute from Nature's active heat
To brook affronts and tamely pass them by,
Too proud to flatter, too sincere to lie,
Too plain to please, too honest to be great,
Give me, kind Heav'n! an humbler, happier, state,
Far from the place where men with pride deceive,
Where rascals promise and where fools believe,
Far from the walk of Folly, Vice, and Strife,
Calm, independent, let me steal thro' life,
Nor one vain wish may steady thoughts beguile
To fear his Lordship's frown or court his smile.
Unfit for Greatness, I her snares defy,
And look on riches with untainted eye:
To others let the glitt'ring bawbles fall.
Content shall place us far above them all.

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