Графични страници
PDF файл

So manifold, all pleasing in their kind, All healthful, are th' employs of rural life, Reiterated as the wheel of time Runs round; still ending and beginning still. Nor are these all. To deck the shapely knoll, That softly swell’d and gaily dress'd appears A flow'ry island from the dark green lawn Emerging, must be deem'd a labour due To no mean hand, and asks the touch of taste. Here also grateful mixture of well-match'd And sorted hues (each giving each relief, And by contrasted beauty shining more) Is needful. Strength may wield the pond'rous spade, May turn the clod, and wheel the compost home But elegance, chief grace the garden shows, And most attractive, is the fair result Of thought, the creature of a polish'd mind. Without it all gothic as the scene, To which th' insipid citizen resorts Near yonder heath; where Industry mispent, But proud of his uncouth ill-chosen task, Has made a Heav'n on Earth; with suns and moons Of close-ramm'd stones has charg'd th’encumber'd


And fairly laid the zodiac in the dust.
He therefore, who would see his flow’rs dispos'd
Sightly and in just order, ere he gives
The beds the trusted treasure of their seeds,
Forecasts the future whole; that when the sceno
Shall break into it's preconceiv'd display,
Each for itself, and all as with one voice
Conspiring, may attest his bright design.
Nor even then, dismissing as perform'd
His pleasant work, may he suppose it done.
Few self supported flow'rs endure the wind
Uninjur'd, but expect th' upholding aid
Of the smooth-shaven prop, and, neatly tied,
Are wedded thus like beauty to old age,
For int'rest gake, the living to the dead.
Some clothe the soil that feeds them, far diffus'd
And lowly creeping, modest, and yet fair,
Like virtue, thriving most where little seen:
Some more aspiring catch the neighbour shrub
With clasping tendrils, and invest his branch,
Else unadorn'd with many a gay festoon
And fragrant chaplet, recompensing well
The strength they borrow with the grace they lenda
All hate the rank society of weeds,

Noisome, and ever greedy to exhaust
Th’impoverish'd earth; an overbearing race,
That, like the multitude made faction-mad,
Disturb good order, and degrade true worth.

O blest seclusion from a jarring world, Which he, thus occupied, enjoys! Retreat Cannot indeed to guilty man restore Lost innocence, or cancel follies past; But it has peace, and much secures the mind From all assaults of evil; proving still A faithful barrier, not o'erleap'd with ease By vicious Custom, raging uncontrolld Abroad, and desolating public life. When fierce Temptation, seconded within By traitor Appetite, and arm'd with darts Temper'd in Hell, invades the throbbing breast, To combat may be glorious, and success Perhaps may crown us; but to fly is safe. Had I the choice of sublunary good, What could I wish, that I possess not here? Health, leisure, means t' improve it, friendship,

peace, No loose or wanton, though a wand'ring muse,

And constant occupation without care,
Thus blest I draw a picture of that bliss;
Hopeless indeed, that dissipated minds,
And profligate abusers of a world
Created fair so much in vain for them,
Should seek the guiltless joys, that I describe,
Allur'd by my report: but sure no less,
That self-condemn'd they must neglect the prize,
And what they will not taste must yet approve.
What we admire we praise; and, when we praise,
Advance it into notice, that, it's worth
Acknowledg’d, others may admire it too.
I therefore recommend, though at the risk
Of popular disgust, yet boldly still,
The cause of piety, and sacred truth,
And virtue, and those scenes, which God ordain'd
Should best secure them, and promote them most;
Scenes that I love, and with regret perceive
Forsaken, or through folly not enjoy’d.
Pure is the nymph, though lib'ral of her smiles,
And chaste, though unconfin'd whom I extol.
Not as the prince in Shushan, when he call’d,
Vainglorious of her charms, his Vashti forth,

grace the full pavilion. His design

Was but to boast his own peculiar good, Which all might view with envy, none partake. My charmer is not mine alone; my sweets, And she, that sweetens all my bitters too, Nature, enchanting Nature, in whose form And lineaments divine I trace a hand, That errs not, and find raptures still renew'd, Is free to all men-universal prize. Strange that so fair a creatnre should yet want Admirers, and be destin'd to divide With meaner objects ev’n the few she finds ! Stripp'd of her ornaments, her leaves and flow'rs, She loses all her influence. Cities then Attract us, and neglected nature pines Abandon’d, as unworthy of our love. But are not wholesome airs, though unperfum'd By roses; and clear suns, though scarcely felt; And groves,

if unharmonious, yet secure From clamour, and whose very silence charms; To be preferr'd to smoke, to the eclipse, That metropolitan volcanoes make, Whose Stygian throats breathe darkness all day

long; And to the stir of Commerce, driving slow,

« ПредишнаНапред »