Be reminded how wonderful life can be by these poems about contentment. How you view your life, how content you are with what you have will determine your happiness and success in life. There are those who are always trying
to get more and not appreciating all that they currently have. They are never happy. But when you find contentment your life takes on a whole different perspective and a peace you find.
He that holds fast the golden mean,
And lives contentedly between
The little and the great,
Feels not the wants that pinch the poor,
Nor plagues that haunt the rich man's door,
Embittering all his state.
My heart and I but lately were at strife.
She fell a-longing for a certain thing
The which I could not give her, and my life
Grew sick and weary with her clamoring.
God knows I would have given my youth's wide scope
To buy my heart but one brief, blessed day
Of the blind bliss she coveted; but hope,
When I appealed to it, turned, dumb, away.
Until hope failed, I did not chide my heart,
But was full tender to her misery,
I knew how hard and bitter was her part;
But when I saw that good was not for me,
I felt that time and tears were vainly spent ;
"Heart," said I, "hope is silent; be content."
Poor heart! She listened, earnest, humble-wise,
While my good angel gave her counsel strong,
Then from the dust and ashes did arise,
And through her trembling lips broke forth a song;
A soothing song, that grew into a strain
Of praise for bliss denied as well as given:
She sang it then to charm a lingering pain,
She sings it now for gladness, morn and even.
She sings it, seeing on life's garden wall
Love's deep red roses in the sunshine stir,
And singing, passes, envying not at all,
Content to feel that love is not for her.
The roses are another's, bloom and scent,
My heart and I have " heart's-ease " and content.
A Song Of Low Degree
Poet: John Bunyan
He that is down need fear no fall;
He that is low, no pride;
He that is humble ever shall
Have God to be his guide.
I am content with what I have,
Little be it, or much;
And, Lord, contentment still I crave,
Because thou savest such.
Fullness to such a burden is
That go on pilgrimage;
Here little, and hereafter bliss.
Is best from age to age.
Let us be content in work
To do the thing we can, and not presume
To fret because it's little.
Poet: John Byrom
I am content, I do not care,
Wag as it will the world for me;
When fuss and fret was all my fare,
It got no ground, as I could see:
So when away my caring went,
I counted cost, and was content.
With more of thanks, and less of thought,
I strive to make my matters meet;
To seek what ancient sages sought,
Physic and food, in sour and sweet:
To take what passes in good part,
And keep the hiccups from the heart.
With good and gentle-humoured hearts,
I choose to chat where'er I come,
Whate'er the subject be that starts;
But if I get among the glum,
I hold my tongue to tell the troth,
And keep my breath to cool my broth.
For chance or change, of peace or pain,
For Fortune's favour or her frown;
For lack or glut, for loss or gain,
I never dodge, nor up nor down:
But swing what way the ship shall swim,
Or tack about with equal trim.
I suit not where I shall not speed,
Nor trace the turn of every tide;
If simple sense will not succeed,
I make no bustling, but abide:
For shining wealth or scaring woe,
I force no friend, I fear no foe.
I love my neighbour as myself,
Myself like him too, by his leave;
Nor to his pleasure, power or pelf,
Came I to crouch, as I conceive:
Dame Nature doubtless has designed
A man, the monarch of his mind.
Now taste and try this temper, sirs,
Mood it and brood it in your breast;
Or if ye ween, for worldly stirs,
That man does right to mar his rest,
Let me be deft and debonair,
I am content, I do not care.
Content With All
Poet: Mary Ann W. Cook
Content that God's decree
Should order all for thee.
Content with sickness or with health —
Content with poverty or wealth —
Content to walk in humble guise,
And as He wills it sink or rise.
Content to live alone
And call no place thine own.
No sweet reunions day by day.
'Thy kindred spirits far away.
And, since God wills to have it so,
Thou wouldst not change for weal or woe.
Content that others rise
Before thy very eyes.
How bright their lot and portion here!
Wealth fills their coffers — friends are near.
Behold their mansions tall and fair!
The timbrel and the dance are there.
Content to toil or rest —
God's peace within thy breast —
To feel thy times are in His hand
Who holds all worlds in his command —
Thy time to laugh — thy time to sigh —
Thy time to live — thy time to die.
And is it so indeed
Thou art with God agreed?
Content 'mid all the ills of life?
Farewell, then, sorrow, pain and strife!
Such high content is heaven begun.
The battle's fought, the victory won!
Poet: Alfred Austin
I could not find the little maid Content,
So out I rushed, and sought her far and wide
But not where Pleasure each new fancy tried,
Heading the maze of rioting merriment,
Nor where, with restless eyes and bow half bent,
Love in the brake of sweetbriar smiled and sighed.
Nor yet where Fame towered, crowned and glorified,
Found I her face, nor wheresoe'er I went.
So homeward back I crawled, like wounded bird,
When lo! Content sate spinning at my door;
And when I asked her where she was before —
"Here all the time," she said; "I never stirred;
Too eager in thy search, you passed me o'er.
And, though I called you, neither saw nor heard."
Content I Live
Poet: Edward Dyer
My mind to me a kingdom is;
Such perfect joy therein I find
As far exceeds all earthly bliss
That God or nature hath assigned:
Though much I want that most would have,
Yet still my mind forbids to crave.
Content I live; this is my stay -
I seek no more than may suffice.
I press to bear no haughty sway;
Look, what I lack my mind supplies.
Lo, thus I triumph like a king.
Content with what my mind doth bring.
I laugh not at another's loss,
I grudge not at another's gain;
No worldly wave my mind can toss;
I brook that as another's bane.
I fear no foe, nor fawn on friend.
I loathe not life, nor dread mine end.
My wealth is health and perfect ease;
My conscience clear my chief defense;
I never seek by bribes to please
Nor by desert to give offense.
Thus do I live, thus will I die;
Would all did so, as well as I.
I know not, and I would not know,
Content, I leave it all with Thee;
'Tis ever best it should be so;
As thou wilt have it let it be.
But this I know: that every day
And every step for me is planned;
I surely cannot lose the Way
While He is holding fast my hand.
And surely, whatsoe'er betide,
I never shall be left alone:
Thou standest ever by my side;
To thee my future all is known.
And wheresoe'er my lot may fall
The way before is marked by Thee;
The windings of my life are all
Unfoldings of thy Love to me.
Wealth Without Contentment
Poet: George Herbert
The way to make thy son rich is to fill
His mind with rest before his trunk with riches:
For wealth without contentment climbs a hill
To feel those tempests which fly over ditches.
Just As God Leads
Just as God leads me I would go;
I would not ask to choose my way;
Content with what he will bestow,
Assured he will not let me stray.
So, as he leads, my path I make,
And step by step I gladly take —
A child, in him confiding.
Just as God leads I am content;
I rest me calmly in his hands;
That which he has decreed and sent —
That which his will for me commands —
I would that he should all fulfill,
That I should do his gracious will
In living or in dying.
Just as God leads, I all resign;
I trust me to my Father's will;
When reason's rays deceptive shine,
His counsel would I yet fulfill;
That which his love ordained as right
Before he brought me to the right
My all to him resigning.
Just as God leads me, I abide
In faith, in hope, in suffering true;
His strength is ever by my side —
Can aught my hold on him undo?
I hold me firm in patience, knowing
That God my life is still bestowing —
The best in kindness sending.
Just as God leads I onward go.
Out amid thorns and briers keen;
God does not yet his guidance show-
But in the end it shall be seen.
How, by a loving Father's will,
Faithful and true, he leads me still.
And so my heart is resting.
Blessings Near At Hand
Poet: Sarah Knowles Bolton
We look too far for blessings;
We seek too far for joys;
We ought to be like children
Who find their chiefest toys
Ofttimes in nearest attic,
Or in some dingy lane —
Their aprons full of weeds or flowers
Gathered in sun or rain.
Within the plainest cottage
Unselfish love may grow;
The sweetest, the divinest gift,
Which mortals ever know.
We ought to count our joys, not woes;
Meet care with winsome grace;
For discontent plows furrows
Upon the loveliest face.
Hope, freedom, sunlight, knowledge.
Come not to wealth alone;
He who looks far for blessings
Will overlook his own.
Content And Rich
Poet: Robert Southwell
My conscience is my crown,
Contented thoughts my rest;
My heart is happy in itself,
My bliss is in my breast.
Enough I reckon wealth;
A mean, the surest lot;
That lies too high for base contempt,
Too low for envy's shot.
My wishes are but few.
All easy to fulfill;
I make the limits of my power
The bounds unto my will.
I fell no care of coin;
Well doing is my wealth;
My mind to me an empire is,
While grace affordeth health.
I clip high-climbing thoughts,
The wings of swelling pride;
Their fall is worst that from the height
Of greatest honor slide.
Since sails of largest size
The storm doth soonest tear,
I bear so low and small a sail
As freeth me from fear.
I wrestle not with rage
While fury's flame doth burn;
It is in vain to stop the stream
Until the tide doth turn.
But when the flame is out.
And ebbing wrath doth end,
I turn a late enraged foe
Into a quiet friend
And, taught with often proof,
A tempered calm I find
To be most solace to itself,
Best cure for angry mind.
No change of fortune's calms
Can cast my comforts down;
When Fortune smiles I smile to think
How quickly she will frown.
And when in froward mood
She proves an angry foe,
Small gain I found to let her come,
Less loss to let her go.
The Lesson Of Content
Poet: Priscilla Leonard
Never fret yourself to see
All the things that others have;
Take your lot contentedly.
It is better to be brave,
Cheerful, self-reliant, strong,
Craving naught by God denied,
Than to join the restless throng,
Sated, yet unsatisfied.
Never fret yourself to do
More than lies within your power;
Let your work be always true,
Steady, patient, hour by hour.
It is better far to build
Good foundations, slow and sure,
Than to rear in haste unskilled
Towers whose strength is Insecure.
It Never Pays
It never pays to fret and growl
When fortune seems our foe.
The better bred will push ahead
And strike the braver blow;
For luck is work,
And those who shirk
Should not lament their doom,
But yield the play,
And clear the way,
That better men have room.
It never pays to wreck the health
In drudging after gain,
And he is sold who thinks that gold
Is cheapest bought with pain.
An humble lot,
A cosy cot,
Have tempted even kings -
For station high,
That wealth will buy,
Not oft contentment buys.
It never pays! a blunt refrain,
Well worthy of a song,
For age and youth must learn the truth,
That nothing pays that's wrong,
The good and pure
Alone are sure
To bring prolonged success,
While what is right
In Heaven's sight
Is always sure to bless.
Poet: Sara Beaumont Kennedy
Not what we have, but what we long to hold
Seems always fairest, always best;
The sails unfurled at sea gleam whiter far
Than those beside the shore at rest.
And morning mists that shroud the mountain side
Are silver veils as we ascend -
But drizzle of cold rain is what we find
Ere we have reached our journey's end.
This restlessness, this spirit's discontent,
This reaching out for something higher,
This goal that will not leave us in the depths
Is but the pulse of heart's desire.
For if so we were satisfied with gifts
And fading dreams that each day gave
With earth we'd be content, nor lift a hope
To what God keeps beyond the grave.
I ain't no philosopher, like some people say I am.
Philosophy won't fall a tree, an' it never broke a jam.
I ain't figured out no law fer to run the universe;
I take things jest as they be, be they better, be they worse.
Livin' up here in the woods with the sky an' sun an' trees
Won't make any fellah wise, make him any Socrates.
Be they better, be they worse, I take things jest as they be.
An' I try to be content - thet there's my philosophy.
If a tree shud crooked grow, grunts 'll never straighten it.
If an ax ain't hung just right, words 'll never make it fit.
If it snows when it shud rain, if it rains when it shud snow.
Prayers or cussin's never changed any weather thet I know.
We kin only hope fer snow jest to keep the roads alive,
We kin only hope fer rain when we're ready fer the drive.
When the road is gittin' bare an' old mother earth you see.
Then a shovel beats a prayer - thet there's my philosophy.
Other folks has worldly goods, I'm as poor as Dago's monk;
But I git my thirty bones, git my grub an' git a bunk.
Other folks ride grunt-machines; when / travel / must walk;
But you can't wish money in, no one gives you coin fer talk.
I don't cuss because I'm broke, I don't holler at the rich.
Some is rich an' some is poor; what's it matter which is which?
I'm a reg'lar millionaire, I'm as rich as any be.
If I'm only satisfied - thet there's my philosophy.
Some folks long fer fame an' such, long to mingle with the great,
Long to hold some fancy job while the public pays the freight.
I don't long to be no king, long to be no senator.
When the mighty sit to dine, I ain't hangin' round the door. I ain't tryin' much to teach, I ain't tryin' much to learn;
I jest try to do what's right - then I never give a dem.
Be they better, be they worse, I take things jest as they be,
An' I try to be content - thet there's my philosophy.