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I went in search of happiness
And sought, alas! in vain
To find among earth's promised joys
The bliss I thought to gain.


For, like the ignis fatuus
O'er marshy swamps by night,
I found earth's joys as fickle as
That phosphorescent light.


I followed fancy's fairy flight,
And built my castles fair,
But soon I saw them all dissolve
Like bubbles in the air.


I sought for bliss in beauty's charms
And fascinating smiles,
And found, too oft, a painted mask
To cover artful wiles.


I found the dance a meteor glare,
And often void of mirth;
Its promised joys ephemeral,
Or dying in the birth.


I turned into the gay saloon
And drank the sparkling wine,
And listened to the noisy throng
Who scoffed at things Divine.


But peace and happiness took flight
From that unhallowed spot,
To find a lodging for the night
In some lone, humble cot.


Ah! no, accursed alcohol
Has got no promised bliss,
For all the joys it offers are
As false as Judas' kiss.


Again I sought, in wealth and fame,
For quietude of mind,
But chased a shadow all the while,
And followed far behind.


Thus disappointed, I resolved
Without my sphere to keep,
And as I could not run nor soar,
To be content to creep.


And so I sought by honest toil
To earn my daily bread,
And gloom and pride and murmurings,
Like morning vapours, fled.


And then I sought the Prince of Peace
His blessing to impart--
He gave it, and I have it still,
Deep hidden in my heart.