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This wildernesse doth vs in safetie keepe,
Nor ever greedie soldier was entised
These little flocks of sheepe and tender goates
We little wish, we need but little wealth,
How they are fed, in forrest, spring and lake,
And though I but a simple gardner weare,
I bod the court farewell, and with content
Till fortune should occasion new afford,
Within these pleasant groues perchance my hart Of her discomforts may vnload some part.
Part of her sad misfortunes than she told,
But yet her gestures and her lookes (I gesse)
Not those rude garments could obscure, and hide
Both cheese and butter could she make, and frame
OF Mr. John PomFRET nothing is known but from a slight and confused account prefixed to his poems by a nameless friend; who relates, that he was the son of the Rev. Mr. Pomfret, rector of Luton, in Bedfordshire ; that he was bred at Cambridge *, entered into orders, and was rector of Malden in Bedfordshire, and might have risen in the Church ; but that, when he applied to Dr. Compton, bishop of London, for institution to a living of considerable value, to which he had been presented, he found a troublesome obstruction raised by a malicious interpretation of some passage in his Choice; from which it was inferred, that he considered happiness as more likely to be found in the company of a mistress than of a wife.
This reproach was easily obliterated : for it had happened to Pomfret as to almost all other men who plan schemes of life; he had departed from his purpose, and was then married.
* He was of Queen's College there, and, by the Universityregister, appears to have taken his Bachelor's degree in 1684, and his Master's 1698. H.-His Father was of Trinity. C.
The malice of his enemies had however a very fatal consequence: the delay constrained his attendance in London, where he caught the small-pox, and died in 1703, in the thirty-sixth year of his age.
He published his poems in 1699; and has been always the favourite of that class of readers, who, without vanity or criticism, seek only their own amusement.
His Choice exhibits a system of life adapted to common notions, and equal to common expectations; such a state as affords plenty and tranquillity, without exclusion of intellectual pleasures. Perhaps no composition in our language has been oftener perused than Pomfret's Choice.
In his other poems there is an easy volubility; the pleasure of smooth metre is afforded to the ear, and the mind is not oppressed with ponderous or entangled with intricate sentiment. He pleases many; and he who pleases many must have some species of merit.