In Search of …

by linawings

I am the type of person who really enjoys a classical book. The bigger the better – longer time for reading. You can imagine my pleasure when I spotted the classical masterpiece “Middlemarch” by George Eliot freshly translated in Bulgarian(*). It turned out one of those rare works of art which makes you think: “In front of my eyes lies a work of a real genius”.

Among other things this reading excited me with its praise of joy of labour, perseverance and commitment as sources of happiness and integrity in life: values I very much believe in in my work life, but often face attitudes and examples which put me in doubt about their relevance.

That’s why I wanted to re-assure myself by publishing this old-fashioned poem by Sir Henry Wotton (1568-1639), cited in the book:

The Character of a Happy Life

How happy is he born or taught,
That serveth not another’s will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his highest skill;

Who God doth late and early pray,
More of his grace than goods to send,
And entertains the harmless day
With a well-chosen book or friend.

This man is free from servile bands
Of hope to rise or fear to fall;
Lord of himself, though not of lands;
And having nothing, yet hath all.

(*) Published in Bulgaria by Colibri Publishing House, translator Vesela Katsarova