The Happy Life

(The Happy Life)

These things, I find, are what brings a man a happy life:
wealth left to you, or given by design;
rich land and soil, an even tempered hearth;
no law but self, light business, and a quiet mind;
great health in body, honorable power to do only right;
a wise simplicity, friends of equal term;
good company and counsel, a table strong, without art;
nights carefree, no grief, no awkward drunkenness;
a bed of soft comfort, modest, true, without cold;
sleep that dreams only sweet, hours of darkness brief;
the need to be yourself, and nothing more;
a man, a knight, a lord, discharged without concern;
never fearing your final day, never seeking it to come to term.


                                                                        A modern translation of " The good life", by Marcus Valerius Martialis  Book X: 47 

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