to a Life of Affordable Pleasures

I would life were not so dear an offering
And were more purchase in the bold expense
Of daily spir’t than what dull labours bring.
I would the pain of avarice not sting
And that the canticle of pleasure hence
Ring e’er in the cathedral of our sense.

For our bank is by the water and our purse
Is of our lips; and when we, changing, choose
To reckon Nature’s benefit, or worse,
Take commerce in its beauties, we do curse
The bounty of our Lord. Let us not use
What is not ours, but God’s to gain or lose.

Let us hold each others’ goods, and let no royal
Hand tax our bodies in the unbridled heat
Of sowing. We will slowly seed our soil
Divest of custom; love’s labour’s no toil,
But a joy when two happy ends do meet:
Useful work and Heaven’s pleasure sweet!