a poem by Claudius

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“I am content. In trumpet-tones,
My song, let people know.
And many a mighty man, with throne
And scepter, is not so.
And if he is, I joyful cry,
Why then, he’s just the same as I.

The Mogul’s gold, the Sultan’s show—
His bliss, supreme too soon,
Who, lord of all the world below,
Looked up unto the moon—
I would not pick it up—all that
Is only fit for laughing at.

My motto is—Content with this.
Gold-place—I prize not such.
That which I have, my measure is;
Wise men desire not much.
Men wish and wish, and have their will,
And wish again, as hungry still.

And gold and honor are besides
A very brittle glass;
And Time, in his unresting tides,
Makes all things change and pass;
Turns riches to a beggar’s dole;
Sets glory’s race an infant’s goal.

Be noble—that is more than wealth;
Do right—that’s more than place;
Then in the spirit there is health,
And gladness in the face;
Then thou art with thyself at one,
And, no man hating, fearest none.

I am content. In trumpet-tones,
My song, let people know.
And many a mighty man, with throne
And scepter, is not so.
And if he is, I joyful cry,
Why then, he’s just the same as I.”

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