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Q. Horatius Flaccus (Horace), Odes (ed. John Conington), Book 3, Poem 16 (search)
The knightly order's praise.
He that denies himself shall gain the more
From bounteous Heaven. I strip me of my pride,
Desert the rich man's standard, and pass o'er
To bare Contentment's side,
More proud as lord of what the great despise
Than if the wheat thresh'd on Apulia's floor
I hoarded all in my huge granaries,
'Mid vast possessions poor.
A clear fresh stream, a little field o'ergrown
With shady trees, a crop that ne'er deceives,
Pass, though men know it not, their wealth, that own
All Afric's golden sheaves.
Though no Calabrian bees their honey yield
For me, nor mellowing sleeps the god of wine
In Formian jar, nor in Gaul's pasture-field
The wool grows long and fine,
Yet Poverty ne'er comes to break my peace;
If more I craved, you would not more refuse.
Desiring less, I better shall increase
My tiny revenues,
Than if to Alyattes' wide domains
I join'd the realms of Mygdon. Great desires
Sort with great wants. 'Tis best, when prayer obtains
No more than life requires.