Featured Poem: Sweet Content by Thomas Dekker

The title of our Featured Poem this week may not strike you as familiar but it’s likely that you’ve come across it’s lines in some form or another over the years. This week we’re reading Sweet Content by Thomas Dekker.

Sweet Content

ART thou poor, yet hast thou golden slumbers?
O sweet content!
Art thou rich, yet is thy mind perplex’d?
O punishment!
Dost thou laugh to see how fools are vex’d
To add to golden numbers golden numbers?
O sweet content! O sweet, O sweet content!
Work apace, apace, apace, apace;
Honest labour bears a lovely face;
Then hey nonny nonny—hey nonny nonny!

Canst drink the waters of the crisped spring?
O sweet content!
Swim’st thou in wealth, yet sink’st in thine own tears?
O punishment!
Then he that patiently want’s burden bears,
No burden bears, but is a king, a king!
O sweet content! O sweet, O sweet content!
Work apace, apace, apace, apace;
Honest labour bears a lovely face;
Then hey nonny nonny—hey nonny nonny!

Thomas Dekker


Want to make time for more poetry in your week?

Whether you want to reconnect with your love of literature or take time out of a busy week for reading with purpose, or perhaps you want to meet new people? We run Shared Reading groups right across the UK and all our weekly sessions are free to attend and welcome to all.

Find a group near you.

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