I'm silverless, and pennyless
I've no small coin about me
And yet I'm not in wants distress
The rich may live without me

Though money makes the married glad
And finds the single nappy
Yet wanting wealth—I'm never sad
While health can make me happy

For health's the flower of mountains pride
The lily of the valley
The red rose by the cottage side
While sickness keeps the alley

In poverty there is no shame
Industry's not the slave on't
And self-content's a happy name
So I whistle o'er the leave on't

I'm silverless, and pennyless
And poor enough God knows
Yet in no pinfold of distress
While I get food and clothes

The heart that keeps its own command
Of little makes the more
Content—and all may understand
I've no wishes from my door

John Clare, Selected Poems,
ed. J.W. and Anne Tibble (Everyman, 1965)

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