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CXLVI

Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth,
[Amidst] these rebel powers that thee array,
Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth,
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?
Why so large cost, having so short a lease,
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend?
Shall worms, inheritors of this excess,
Eat up thy charge? is this thy body's end?
Then, soul, live thou upon thy servant's loss,
And let that pine to aggravate thy store;
Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross;
Within be fed, without be rich no more:

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How happy is he born and taught

That serveth not another's will; Whose armour is his honest thought, And simple truth his utmost skill! Whose passions not his masters are;

Whose soul is still prepared for death, Untied unto the world by care

Of public fame or private breath;
Who envies none that chance doth raise;
Nor vice hath ever understood
(How deepest wounds are given by praise !)
Nor rules of State, but rules of good;

Who hath his life from rumours freed;
Whose conscience is his strong retreat,
Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
Nor ruin make oppressors great;

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