Alexander Brome

(1620-1666 / England)

The Anti-Politician - Poem by Alexander Brome

ome leave thy care, and love thy friend;
Live freely, don't despair,
Of getting money there's no end,
And keeping it breeds care.
If thou hast money at thy need,
Good company, and good wine,
His life, whose joys on wealth do feed,
's not half so sweet as thine.

I can enjoy myself and friends,
Without design or fear,
Below their envy, or base ends,
That politicians are.
I neither toil, nor care, nor grieve,
To gather, keep, or lose;
With freedom and content I live,
And what's my own I use.

While men blown on with strong desires
Of riches or renown,
Though ne'er so high, would be still higher,
So tumble headlong down.
For princes' smiles turn oft to frowns,
And favours fade each hour;
He that to day heaps towns on towns,
To morrow's clapped i'th'Tower.

All that we get by all our store,
's but honour or dominion;
The one's but trouble varnished o'er,
And t'other's but opinion.
Fate rules the roost, times always change;
'Tis fancy builds all things;
How madly then our minds do range,
Since all we grasp hath wings.

Those empty terms of rich and poor,
Comparison hath framed;
He hath not much that covets more,
Want is but will, nicknamed.
If I can safely think and live,
And freely laugh or sing,
My wealth I'll not for Croesus give,
Nor change lives with a king.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010

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