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Category: Funny Satire Poems
       Classic humorous and funny poems using irony, exaggeration and ridicule, to expose and criticize stupidity and vices.

  CONTENTMENT  

Little I ask; my wants are few;
    I only wish a hut of stone
(A very plain brone stone will do)
    That I may call my own;
And close at hand is such a one,
In yonder street that fronts the sun.

Plain food is quite enough for me;
    Three courses are as good as ten;
If Nature can subsist on three,
    Thank Heaven for three--Amen!
I always thought cold victual nice--
My choice would be vanilla-ice.

I care not much for gold or land;
    Give me a mortgage here and there,
Some good bank-stock, some note of hand,
    Or trifling railroad share.
I only ask that Fortune send
A little more than I shall spend.

Jewels are baubles; 'tis a sin
    To care for such unfruitful things;
One good-sized diamond in a pin,
    Some, not so large, in rings.
A ruby, and a pearl, or so,
Will do for me--I laugh at show.

My dame should dress in cheap attire
    (Good, heavy silks are never dear);
I own perhaps I might desire
    Some shawls of true Cashmere--
Some marrowy crapes of China silk,
Like wrinkled skins on scalded milk.

I would not have the horse I drive
    So fast that folks must stop and stare;
An easy gait--two, forty-five--
    Suits me; I do not care;
Perhaps, for just a single spurt,
Some seconds less would do no hurt.

Of pictures, I should like to own
    Titians and Raphaels three or four--
I love so much their style and tone--
    One Turner, and no more.
(A landscape, foreground golden dirt,
The sunshine painted with a squirt).

Of books but few--some fifty score
    For daily use, and bound for wear;
The rest upon an upper floor;
    Some little luxury there
Of red morocco's gilded gleam,
And vellum rich as country cream.

Busts, cameos, gems--such things as these,
    Which others often show for pride,
I value for their power to please,
    And selfish churls deride;
One Stradivarius, I confess,
Two Meerschaums, I would fain possess.

Wealth's wasteful tricks I will not learn,
    Nor ape the glittering upstart fool;
Shall not carved tables serve my turn,
    But all must be of buhl?
Give grasping pomp its double share--
I ask but one recumbent chair.

Thus humble let me live and die,
    Nor long for Midas' golden touch;
If Heaven more generous gifts deny,
    I shall not miss them much--
Too grateful for the blessing lent
Of simple tastes and mind content!

                    Oliver Wendell Holmes.


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