Saturday, March 31, 2012

Classic Poetry - Integer Vitae by Thomas Campion


Thomas Campion
(1567 - 1619)

Integer Vitae

THE man of life upright,
Whose guiltless heart is free
From all dishonest deeds,
Or thought of vanity;

The man whose silent days
In harmless joys are spent,
Whom hopes cannot delude,
Nor sorrow discontent;

That man needs neither towers
Nor armour for defence,
Nor secret vaults to fly
From thunder's violence:

He only can behold
With unaffrighted eyes
The horrors of the deep
And terrors of the skies.

Thus, scorning all the cares
That fate or fortune brings,
He makes the heaven his book,
His wisdom heavenly things;

Good thoughts his only friends,
His wealth a well-spent age,
The earth his sober inn
And quiet pilgrimage.

Thomas Campion was an English composer, poet and physician who espoused living simply, free from worry about both worldly and spiritual concerns. He was also an accused killer, acquitted when it was discovered he unknowingly delivered payment for Thomas Overbury's murder-by-hire. How's that for a full and varied life?

2 comments: