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On Retirement

 A HERMIT'S house beside a stream
 With forests planted round,
Whatever it to you may seem
More real happiness I deem
 Than if I were a monarch crowned.
A cottage I could call my own Remote from domes of care; A little garden, walled with stone, The wall with ivy overgrown, A limpid fountain near, Would more substantial joys afford, More real bliss impart Than all the wealth that misers hoard, Than vanquished worlds, or worlds restored-- Mere cankers of the heart! Vain, foolish man! how vast thy pride, How little can your wants supply!-- 'Tis surely wrong to grasp so wide-- You act as if you only had To triumph--not to die!

by Philip Freneau
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