A HERMIT’S house beside a stream
With forests planted round,
Whatever it to you may seem
More real happiness I deem
Than if I were a monarch crowned.

A cottage I could call my own
Remote from domes of care;
A little garden, walled with stone,
The wall with ivy overgrown,
A limpid fountain near,

Would more substantial joys afford,
More real bliss impart
Than all the wealth that misers hoard,
Than vanquished worlds, or worlds restored–
Mere cankers of the heart!

Vain, foolish man! how vast thy pride,
How little can your wants supply!–
‘Tis surely wrong to grasp so wide–
You act as if you only had
To triumph–not to die!

Analysis, meaning and summary of Philip Freneau's poem On Retirement

1 Comment

  1. Rita says:

    Philip Freneau reminds us in this poem, “On Retirement'” of the ultimate end when our eternity begins. No sense in treasuring the riches, simple as they can be, for they like us, will pass away.

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