Begins a long look-out for distant land,

And ignorance of better things makes man, Nor quits till ev'ning-watch his giddy stand, Who cannot much, rejoice in what he can ; Then swift descending with a seaman's haste, And he, that deems his leisure well bestow'd Slips to his hammock, and forgets the blast.

In contemplation of a turnpike road, He chooses company, but not the squire's,

Is occupied as well, employs his hours Whose wit is rudeness, whose good-breeding tires; As wisely, and as much improves his pow'rs, Nor yet the parson's, who would gladly come, As he, that slumbers in pavilions grac'd Obsequious when abroad, though proud at home; With all the charms of an accomplish'd taste. Nor can he much affect the neighb'ring peer, Yet hence, alas! insolvencies; and hence Whose toe of emulation treads too near;

Th' unpitied victim of ill-judg'd expense, But wisely seeks a more convenient friend,

From all his wearisome engagements freed, With whom, dismissing forms, he may unbend; Shakes hands with business, and retires indeed. A man, whom marks of condescending grace

Your prudent grand-mammas, ye modern belles, Teach, while they flatter him, his proper place; Content with Bristol, Bath, and Tunbridge-Wells, Who comes when call'd, and at a word withdraws, When health required it, would consent to roam, Speaks with reserve, and listens with applause ; Else more attach'd 10 pleasures found at home. Some plain mechanic, who, without pretence But now alike, gay widow, virgin, wise, To birth or wit, nor gives nor takes offence; Ingenious to diversify dull life, On whom he rests well-pleas'd his weary pow'rs, In coaches, chaises, caravans, and hoys, And talks and laughs away his vacant hours. Fly to the coast for daily, nightly joys, The tide of life, swift always in its course,

And all, impatient of dry land, agree May run in ciiies with a brisker force,

With one consent to rush into the sea.But nowhere with a current so serene,

Ocean exhibits, fathomless and broad, Or half so clear, as in the rural scene.

Much of the pow'r and majesty of God. Yet how fallacious is all earthly bliss,

He swathes about the swelling of the deep, What obvious truths the wisest heads may miss! That shines and rests, as infants smile and sleep; Some pleasures live a month, and some a year, Vast as it is, it answers as it flows But short the date of all we gather here;

The breathing of the lightest air that blows; No happiness is felt except the true,

Curling and whit'ning over all the waste,
That does not charm the more for being new. The rising waves obey th' increasing blast,
This observation, as it chanc'd, not made,

Abrupt and horrid as the tempest roars,
Or, if the thought occurr'd, not duly weigh'd, Thunder and flash upon the stedfast shores,
He sighs—for after all by slow degrees

|Till he, that rides the whirlwind, checks the rein, The spot he lov'd has lost the pow'r to please ;

Then all the world of waters sleeps againTo cross his ambling pony day by day,

Nereids or Dryads, as the fashion leads, Seems at the best but dreaming life away;

Now in the floods, now panting in the meads, The prospect, such as might enchant despair, Vot'ries of Pleasure still, where'er she dwells, He views it not, or sees no beauty there;

Near barren rocks, in palaces, or cells, With aching heart, and discontented looks,

O grant a poet leave to recommend Returns at noon to billiards or to books,

(A poet fond of Nature, and your friend) But feels, while grasping at his faded joys, Her slighted works to your admiring view; A secret thirst of his renounc'd employs.

Her works must needs excel, who fashion'd you. He chides the tardiness of ev'ry post,

Would ye, when rambling in your morning ride, Pants to be told of battles won or lost,

With some unmeaning coxcomb at your side, Blames his own indolence, observes, though late, Condemn the pratiler for his idle pains, "Tis criminal to leave a sinking state,

To waste upheard the music of his strains, Flies to the levée, and, receiv'd with grace, And, deaf to all th' impertinence of tongue, Kneels, kisses hands, and shines again in place. That, while it courts, affronts and does you wrong? Suburban villas, highway-side retreats,

Mark well the finish'd plan without a fault, That dread the encroachment of our growing streets, The seas globose and huge, ih'o'er-arching vault, Tight boxes, neatly sash'd, and in a blaze

Earth's millions daily fed, a world employ'd With all a July sun's collected rays,

In gath'ring plenty yet to be enjoy'd, Delight the citizen, who, gasping there,

Till gratitude grew vocal in the praise
Breathes clouds of dust, and calls it country air. Of God, beneficent in all his ways;
O sweet retirement, who would balk the thought, Grac'd with such wisdom, how would beauty shine!
That could afford retirement, or could not?

Ye want but that to seem indeed divine.
"Tis such an easy walk, so smooth and straight, Anticipated rents, and bills unpaid,
The second mile-stone fronts the garden-gate; Force many a shining youth into the shade,
A step if fair, and, if a show'r approach,

Not to redeem his time, but his estate,
You find safe shelter in the next stage-coach. And play the fool, but at a cheaper rate.
There, prison'd in a parlor snug and small,

There, hid in loth'd obscurity, remov'd Like bottled wasps upon a southern wall,

From pleasures left, but never more belov'd, The man of business and his friends compress'd He just endures, and with a sickly spleen Forget their labors, and yet find no rest;

Sighs o'er the beauties of the charming scene But still 'tis rural-trees are to be seen

Nature indeed looks prettily in rhyme ; From ev'ry window', and the fields are green; Streams tinkle sweetly in poetic chime: Ducks paddle in the pond before the door,

The warblings of the blackbird, clear and strong, And what could a remoter scene show more? Are musical enough in Thomson's song; A sense of elegance we rarely find

And Cobham's groves, and Windsor's green retreats. The portion of a mean or vulgar mind,

When Pope describes them, have a thousand sweets

He likes the country, but in truth must own, Nor yet the swarms, that occupy the brain,
Most likes it, when he studies it in town.

Where dreams of dress, intrigue, and pleasure Poor Jack--no matter who—for when I blame,

reign; I pity, and must therefore sink the name,

Nor snch as useless conversation breeds, Liv'd in his saddle, lov'd the chase, the course, Or lust engenders, and indulgence feeds. And always, ere he mounted, kiss'd his horse. Whence, and what are wel to what end ordain'd: The estate, his sires had own'd in ancient years, What means the drama by the world sustain'd? Was quickly distancu, match'd against a peer's. Business or vain amusement, care or mirth, Jack vanishd, was regretted and forgot;

Divide the frail inhabitants of Earth. "Tis wild good-nature's never failing lot.

Is daty a mere sport, or an employ? At length, when all had long suppos'd him dead, Life an intrusted talent, or a toy? By cold submersion, razor, rope, or lead,

Is there, as reason, conscience, Scripture, say, My lord, alighting at his usual place,

Cause to provide for a great future day, The Crown, took notice of an ostler's face,

When, Earth's assign'd duration at an end, Jack knew his friend, but hop'd in that disguise Man shall be summon'd, and the dead attend ! He might escape the most observing eyes,

The trumpet-will it sound ? the curtain rise ? And whistling, as if unconcern'd and gay,

And show th' august tribunal of the skies, Curried his nag, and look'd another way.

Where no prevarication shall avail, Convinc'd at last, upon a nearer view,

Where eloquence and artifice shall fail, 'Twas he, the same, the very Jack he knew, The pride of arrogant distinctions fall, (erwhelm'd at once with wonder, grief, and joy, And conscience and our conduct judge us all? He press'd him much to quit his base employ; Pardon me, ye that give the midnight oil His countenance, his purse, his heart, his hand, To learned cares or philosophic toil, Influence and pow'r, were all at his command: Though I revere your honorable names, Peers are not always gen'rous as well-bred,

Your useful labors and important aims,
But Granby was, meant truly what he said. And hold the world indebted to your aid,
Jack bow'd, and was oblig'd-confess'd 'twas Enrich'd with the discov'ries ye have made,

Yet let me stand excus'd, if I esteem
That so retir'd he should not wish a change, A mind employ'd on so sublime a theme,
But knew no medium between guzzling beer, Pushing her bold inquiry to the date
And his old stin-three thousand pounds a year. And outline of the present transient state,

Thus some retire to nourish hopeless woe; And, after poising her advent'rous wings,
Some seeking happiness not found below;

Settling at last upon eternal things, Some to comply with humor, and a mind

Far more intelligent and better taught To social scenes by nature disinclin'd;

The strenuous use of profitable thought, Some sway'd by fashion, some by deep disgust; Than ye, when happiest and enlighten'd most, Some self-impov'rish'd, and because they must; And highest in renown, can justly boast. But few, that court Retirement, are aware

A mind unnerv'd, or indispos'd to bear Of half the toils they must encounter there. The weight of subjects worthiest of her care, Lucrative offices are seldom lost

Whatever hopes a change of scene inspires, For want of pow'rs proportion'd to the post : Must change her nature, or in vain retires. Give ev'n a dunce th' employment he desires, An idler is a watch, that wants both hands; And he soon finds the talents it requires ;

As useless if it goes, as when it stands. A business with an income at its beels

Books therefore, not the scandal of the sbelves, Furnishes always oil for its own wheels.

In which lewd sensualists print out themselves; But in his arduous enterprise to close

Nor those, in which the stage gives vice a blow. His active years with indolent repose,

With what success let modern manners show; He finds the labors of that state exceed

Nor his, who, for the bane of thousands born, His utmost faculties, severe indeed.

Built God a church, and laugh'd his word to scorn "Tis easy to resign a toilsome place,

Skilful alike to seem devout and just, But not to manage leisure with a grace;

And stab religion with a sly side-thrust; Absence of occupation is not rest,

Nor those of learn'd philologists, who chase
A mind' quite vacant is a mind distress'd.

A panting syllable through time and space.
The vet'ran steed, excus'd his task at length, Start it at home, and hunt it in the dark
In kind compassion of his failing strength,

To Gaul, to Greece, and into Noah's ark:
And turn'd into the park or mead to graze,

But such as learning without false prelence, Exempt from future service all his days,

'The friend of truth, th' associate of sound sense, There feels a pleasure perfect in its kind,

And such as in the zeal of good design, Ranges at liberty, and snuffs the wind :

Strong judgment lab'ring in the Scripture mine,
But when his lord would quit the busy road, All such as manly and great souls produce,
To taste a joy like that he had bestow'd,

Worthy to live, and of eternal use:
He proves, less happy than his favor'd brute, Behold in these what leisure hours demand,
A life of ease a difficult pursuit.

Amusement and true knowledge hand in hand.
Thought, to the man that never thinks, may seem Luxury gives the mind a childish cast,
As natural as when asleep to dream;

And, while she polishes, perverts the taste; But reveries (for human minds will act)

Habits of close attention, thinking heads, Specious in show, impossible in fact,

Become more rare as dissipation spreads, Those flimsy webs, that break as soon as wrought, Till authors hear at length one gen'ral cry, Attain not to the dignity of thought:

| Tickle and entertain us, or we die.

The loud demand, from year to year the same, His soul exults, hope animates his lays,
Beggars Invention, and makes Fancy lame; The sense of mercy kindles into praise,
Till farce itself, most mournfully jejune,

And wilds, familiar with a lion's roar,
Calls for the kind assistance of a tune;

Ring with ecstatic sounds unheard before : And novels (witness every month's review) "Tis love like his, that can alone defeat Belie their name, and offer nothing new.

The foes of man, or make a desert sweet. The mind, relaxing into needful sport,

Religion does not censure or exclude
Should turn to writers of an abler sort,

Unnumber'd pleasures harmlessly pursued ;
Whose wit well-manag‘d, and whose classic style, To study culture, and with artful toil
Give truth a lustre, and make wisdom smile. To meliorate and tame the stubborn toil;
Friends, (for I cannot stint, as some have done, |To give dissimilar yet fruitful lands
Too rigid in my view, that name to one;

The grain, or herb, or plant, that each demands
Though one, I grant it, in the gen'rous breast To cherish virtue in an humble state,
Will stand advanc'd a step above the rest :

And share the joys your bounty may create ;
Flow'rs by that name promiscuously we call, To mark the matchless workings of the pow'r,
But one, the rose, the regent of them all,

That shuts within its seed the future flow'r,
Friends, not adopted with a schoolboy's haste, Bids these in elegance of form excel,
But chosen with a nice discerning taste,

In color these, and those delight the smell,
Well-born, well-disciplin'd, who, plac'd apart Sends Nature forth the daughter of the skies,
From vulgar minds, have honor much at heart, To dance on Earth, and charm all human eyes ;
And, though the world may think th' ingredients odd, To teach the canvas innocent deceit,
The love of virtue, and the fear of God!

Or lay the landscape on the snowy sheetSueh friends prevent what else would soon succeed, These, these are arts pursued without a crime, A temper rustic as the life we lead,

That leave no stain upon the wing of Time. And keep the polish of the manners clean,

Me poetry (or rather notes that aim As theirs who bustle in the busiest scene;

Feebly and vainly at poetic fame) For solitude, however some may rave,

Employs, shut out from more important views, Seeming a sanctuary, proves a grave,

Fast by the banks of the slow-winding Ouse ;
A sepulchre, in which the living lie,

Content if thus sequester'd may raise
Where all good qualities grow sick and die. A monitor's, though not pet s praise,
I praise the Frenchman,* his remark was shrewd And while I teach an art 100 little known,
How sweet, how passing sweet, is solitude ! To close life wisely, may not waste my own
But grant me still a friend in my retreat,
Whom I may whisper-solitude is sweet.
Yet neither these delights, nor aught beside,
That appetite can ask, or wealth provide,

Can save us always from a tedious day,
Or shine the dullness of still life away;

Divine communion, carefully enjoy'd,

The history of the following production is briefly Or sought with energy, must fill the void. O sacred art, to which alone life owes

this : A lady, fond of blank verse, demanded a Its happiest seasons, and a peaceful close,

poem of that kind from the author, and gave him

the Sofa for a subject. He obeyed; and, having Scorn'd in a world, indebted to that scorn For evils daily felt and hardly borne,

much leisure, connected another subject with it: Not knowing thee, we reap with bleeding hands

and, pursuing the train of thought to which his

situation and turn of mind led him, brought forth Flow'rs of rank odor upon thorny lands, And, while experience cautions us in vain,

at length, instead of the trifle which he at first

intended, a serious affair—a volume. Grasp seeming happiness, and find it pain. Despondence, self-deserted in her grief,

In the poem on the subject of Education, he would Lost by abandoning her own relief,

be very sorry to stand suspected of having aimed Murmuring and ungrateful Discontent,

his censure at any particular school. His obThat scorns afflictions mercifully meant,

jections are such as naturally apply themselves Those humors tart as wines upon the fret,

to schools in general. If there were not, as for Which idleness and weariness beget;

the most part there is, wilful neglect in those

who manage them, and an omission even of These, and a thousand plagues, that haunt the breast, Fond of the phantom of an earthly rest,

such discipline as they are susceptible of, the Divine communion chases, as the day

objects are yet too numerous for minute atten

tion; and the aching hearts of ten thousand Drives to their dens th' obedient beasts of prey.

parents, mourning under the bitterest of all disSee Judah's promis'd king berest of all,

appointments, attest the truth of the allegation Driv'n out an exile from the face of Saul,

His quarrel, therefore, is with the mischief at To distant caves the lonely wand'rer flies, To seek that peace a tyrant's frown denies.

large, and not with any particular instance of it. Hear the sweet accents of his tuneful voice, Hear him, o'erwhelm'd with sorrow, yet rejoice ;

Book I. No womanish or wailing grief has part,

THE SOFA. No, not a moment, in his royal heart; "Tis manly music, such as martyrs make,

Argument Suff'ring with gladness for a Savior's sake; Historical deduction of seats, from the stool to the

Sofa. A. schocl-boy's ramble. A walk in the * Bruyere.

country. The scene described. Rural soimas


as well as sights delightful. Another walk. These for the rich; the rest whom Fate had plac'? Mistake concerning the charms of solitude cor- in modest mediocrity, content rected. Colonnades commended. Alcove, and with base materials, sal on well-tann'd hides, the view from it. The wilderness. The grove. Obdurate and unyielding. glassy smooth, The thresher. The necessity and the bene- With here and there a tufi of crimson yarn, fits of exercise. The works of nature superior Or scarlet crewel, in the cushion fix'd, to, and, in some instances, inimitable hy, art. If cushion might be call'd, what harder seem d The wearisomeness of what is commonly called Than the firm oak, of which the frame was forma a life of pleasure. Change of scene sometimes No want of timber then was felt or fear'd expedient. A common described, and the cha- In Albion's happy isle. The lumber slood racter of Crazy Kate introduced. Gypsies. Pond'rous and fix'd by its own massy weight. The blessings of civilized life. The state most But elbow's still were wanting; these, some say: favorable to virtue. The South-Sea islanders An alderman of Cripplegate contrivd; compassionated, but chiefly Omai. His present And some ascribe th' invention to a priest, state of mind supposed. Civilized life friendly Burly, and big, and studious of his ease. to virtue, but not great cities. Great cities, and But rude at first, and not with easy slope London in particular, allowed their due praises, Receding wide, they press'd against the ribs, but censured. Fête-champêtre. The book con. And bruis'd the side; and, elevated high, cludes with a reflection on the fatal effects of Taught the rais'd shoulders to invade the ears. dissipation and effeminacy upon our public mea- Long time elaps d or ere our rugged sires

Complain'd, though incommodiously pent in,

And ill at ease behind. The ladies first I sing the Sofa. I, who lately sang

Gan murmur, as became the softer sex. Truth, Hope, and Charity, and touch'd with awe Ingenious Fancy, never better pleas'd The solemn chords, and with a trembling hand, Than when employ'd t' accommodate the fair, Escap'd with pain from that advent'rous flight, Heard the sweet moan with pity, and devis'd Now seek repose upon an humbler theme;

The soft settee; one elbow at each end. The theme though humble, yet august and proud And in the midst an elbow it received, Th' occasion-for the Fair commands the song. United yet divided, twain at once.

Time was, when clothing sumptuous or for use, So sit two kings of Brentford on one throne ; Save their own painted skins, our sires had none. And so two citizens who take the air, As yet black breeches were not; satin smooth, Close-pack'd, and srailing, in a chaise and one. Or velvet soft, or plush with shaggy pile:

But relaxation of the languid frame, The hardy chief upon the rugged rock

By soft recumbency of out-stretch'd limbs, Wash'd by the sea, or on the grav'ly bank

Was bliss reservd for happier days. So slow Thrown up by wintry torrents roaring loud, The growth of what is excellent; so hard Fearless of wrong, repos'd his weary strength. T' attain perfection in this nether world. Those barb'rous ages past, succeeded next

Thus first Necessity invented stools, The birth-day of Invention ; weak at first,

Convenience next suggested elbow-chairs, Dull in design, and clumsy to perform.

And Luxury th' accomplish'd Sofa last. Joint-stools were then created ; on three legs

The nurse sleeps sweetly, hir'd to watch the sick Upborne they stood. Three legs upholding firm Whom snoring she disturbs. As sweetly he, A massy slab, in fashion square or round.

Who quits the coach-box at the midnight hour, On such a stool immortal Alfred sat,

To sleep within the carriage more secure;
And sway'd the sceptre of his infant realms : His legs depending at the open door.
And such, in ancient halls and mansions drear, Sweet sleep enjoys the curate in his desk,
May still be seen; but perforated sore,

The tedious rector drawling o'er his head; And drill'd in holes, the solid oak is found, And sweet the clerk below. But neither sleep By worms voracious eaten through and through. Of lazy nurse, who snores the sick man dead; At length a generation more refin'd

Nor his, who quits the box at midnight hour, Improv'd the simple plan ; made three legs four, To slumber in the carriage more secure; Gave them a twisted form vermicular,

Nor sleep enjoy'd by curate in his desk ; And o'er the seat, with plenteous wadding stuff'd, Nor yet the dozings of the clerk, as sweet, Induc'd a splendid cover, green and blue,

Compard with the repose the Sofa yields. Yellow and red, of tap'stry richly wrought

O may I live exempted (while I live And woven close, or needle-work sublime. Guiltless of pamper'd appetite obscene) There might ye see the piony spread wide, From pangs arthritic, that infest the toe The full-blown rose, the shepherd and his lass, Of libertine Excess. The Sofa suits Lapdog and lambkin with black staring eyes, The gouty limb, 'tis true; but gouty limb, And parrots with twin cherries in their beak. Though on a Sofa, may I never feel :

Now came the cane from India smooth and bright For I have loy'd the rural walk through lanes With Nature's varnish ; sever'd into stripes, Of grassy swarth, close-cropp'd by nibbling sheep That interlac'd each other, these supplied

And skirted thick with intertexture firm Of texture firm a lattice-work, that brac'd

Of thorny boughs; have lov'd the rural walk The new machine, and it became a chair.

O'er hills, through valleys, and by rivers' brink, But restless was the chair; the back erect

E'er since a truant boy I pass'd my bounds, Distress'd the weary loins, that felt no ease;

T enjoy a ramble on the banks of Thames; The slipp'ry seat betray'd the sliding part

And still remember, nor without regret, That press'd it, and the feet hung dangling down, Of hours, that sorrow since has much endear'd, Anxious in vain to find the distant floor.

How oft, my slice of pocket-store consum d

Still hung'ring, penniless, and far from home,
I fed on scarlet hips and stony haws,
Or blushing crabs, or berries, that emboss
The bramble, black as jet, or sloes austere
Hard fare! but such as boyish appetite
Disdains not; nor the palale, undeprav'd
By culinary arts, unsa v'ry deems.
No Sofa then awaited my return!
Nor Sofa then I needed. Youth repairs
His wasted spirits quickly, by long toil
Incurring short fatigue; and, though our years,
As life declines, speed rapidly away,
And not a year but pilfers as he goes
Some youthful grace, that age world gladly keep;
A tooth, or auburn lock, and by degrees
Their length and color from the locks they spare ;
Tne elastic spring of an unwearied foot,
That mounts the stile with ease, or leaps the fence,
That play of lungs, inhaling and again
Respiring freely the fresh air, that makes
Swift pace or steep ascent no toil to me,
Mine have not pilfer'd yet; nor yet impair'd
My relish of fair prospect; scenes that sooth'd
Or charm'd me young, no longer young, I find
Still soothing, and of pow'r to charm me still.
And witness, dear companion of my walks,
Whose arm this twentieth winter I perceive
Fast lock'd in mine, with pleasure such as love,
Confirm'd by long experience of thy worth
And well-tried virtues, could alone inspire-
Witness a joy that thou hast doubted long.
Thou know'st my praise of nature most sincere,
And that my raptures are not conjur'd up
To serve occasions of poetic pomp,
But genuine, and art partner of them all.
How oft upon yon eminence onr paco
Has slacken'd to a pause, and we have borne
The ruffling wind, scarce conscious that it blew,
While Admiration, feeding at the eye,
And still unsated, dwelt upon the scene.
Thence with what pleasure have we just discern'd
The distant plow slow-moving, and beside
His lab'ring team, that swerv'd not from the track,
The sturdy swain diminish'd to a boy!
Here Ouse, slow winding through a level plain
Of spacious meads with cattle sprinkled o'er,
Conducts the eye along his sinuous course
Delighted. There, fast rooted in their bank,
Stand, never overlook'd, our fav'rite elms,
That screen the herdsman's solitary hut;
While far beyond, and overthwart the stream,
That, as with molten glass, inlays the vale,
The sloping land recedes into the clouds;
Displaying on its varied side the grace
Of hedge-row beauties numberless, square tow'r,
Tall spire, from which the sound of cheerful bells
Just undulates upon the list’ning ear,
Groves, heaths, and smoking villages, remote.
Scenes must be beautiful, which daily view'd
Please daily, and whose novelty survives
Long knowledge and the scrutiny of years,
Praise justly due to those that I describe.

Nor rural sights alone, but rural sounds,
Exhilarate the spirit, and restore
The tone of languid Nature. Mighty winds,
That sweep the skirt of some far-spreading wood
Of ancient growth, make music not unlike
The dash of Ocean on his winding shore,
And lull the spirit while they fill the mind;
Unnumber'd branches waving in the blast,

And all their leaves fast flutt'ring, all at once.
Nor less composure waits upon the roar
of distant foods, or on the softer voire
Of neighb'ring fountain, or of rills that slip
Through the clefi rock, and, chiming as they fall
Upon loose pebbles, lose themselves at lengih
In matted gruss, that with a livelier green
Betrays the secret of their silent course.
Nature inanimate employs sweet sounds,
But animated nature sweeter still,
To soothe and satisfy the human ear.
Ten thousand warblers cheer the day, and one
The livelong night: nor these alone, whose notes
Nice-finger'd Art must emulate in vain,
But cawing rooks, and kites that swim sublime
In still repeated circles, screaming loud,
T'he jay, the pie, and ev'n the boding owl,
That hails the rising moon, have charms for me.
Sounds inharmonious in themselves and harsh,
Yet heard in scenes where peace for ever reigns
And only there, please highly for their sake.

Peace to the artist, whose ingenious thought
Devis'd the weather-house, that useful toy!
Fearless of humid air and gath'ring rains,
Forth steps the man-an emblem of myself!
More delicate his tim'rous mate retires.
When Winter soaks the fields, and female feet,
Too weak to struggle with tenacious clay,
Or ford the rivulets, are best at home,
The task of new discov'ries falls on me.
At such a season, and with such a charge,
Once went I forth; and found, till then unknown
A cottage, whither oft we since repair :
"Tis perch'd upon the green hill top, but close
Environ'd with a ring of branching elms,
That overhang the thatch, itself unseen
Peeps at the vale below; so thick beset
With foliage of such dark redundant growth,
I call'd the low-roof'd lodge the Peasant's Nest
And, hidden as it is, and far remote
From such unpleasing sounds, as haunt the ear
In village or in town, the bay of curs
Incessant, clinking hammers, grinding wheels,
And infants clam'rous whether pleas'd or pain'd
Oft have I wish'd the peaceful covert mine.
• Here," I have said, " at least I should possess
The poet's treasure, silence, and indulge
The dreams of fancy, tranquil and secure."
Vain thought! the dweller in that still retreat
Dearly obtains the refuge it affords.
Its elevated site forbids the wretch
To drink sweet waters of the crystal well:
He dips his bowl into the weedy ditch,
And, heavy laden, brings his bev'rage home,
Far fetch'd and little worth ; nor seldom waits,
Dependent on the baker's punctual call,
To hear his creaking panniers at the door,
Angry, and sad, and his last crust consum'd.
So farewell envy of the Peasant's Nest !
If solitude make scant the means of life
Society for me!-thou seeming sweet,
Be still a pleasing object in my view;
My visit still, but never mine abode.

Not distant far a length of colonnade
Invites us. Monument of ancient taste,
Now scorn'd, but worthy of a better fate.
Our fathers knew the value of a screen
From sultry suns; and in their shaded walks
And long-protracted bow'rs, enjoy'd at noon
The gloom and coolness of declining day.

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