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Of their complete effect. Much yet remains
Unsung, and many cares are yet behind,
And more laborious ; cares on which depend
Their vigour, injur'd foon, not foon restor'd.
The soil must be renew'd, which often wash'd,
Loses its treasure of falubrious falts,
And disappoints the roots; the flender roots
Close interwoven, where they meet the vafe
Must smooth be fhorn away; the fapless branch
Must fly before the knife; the wither'd leaf
Must be detach'd, and where it strews the floor
Swept with a woman's neatness, breeding else
Contagion, and disseminating death.
Discharge but these kind offices, and who
Would fpare, that loves them, offices like these?)
Well they reward the toil. The fight is pleas'd,
The scent regal'd, each odorif'rous leaf,
Each opening bloffom, freely breathes abroad
Its gratitude, and thanks him with its sweets.
So manifold, all pleasing in their kind,
All healthful, are th' employs of rural life,
Reiterated as the wheel of time
Runs round, ftill ending, and beginning still.
Nor are these all. To deck the shapely knoll,
That softly swelld 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 alks the touch of taste:
Here also graceful mixture of well-match'd
And forted hues, (each giving each relief,
And by contrafted beauty shining more)
Is needful. Strength may wield the pond'rous
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 is Gothic as the scene
To which th' insipid citizen resorts
Near yonder heath ; where industry mispent,
But proud to his uncouth ill-chosen talk,
Has made a heav'n on earth ; with suns and
Of close-ramm'd stones has charg'd th' incumber'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 feeds,
Forecasts the future whole; that when the scene
Shall break into its preconceiv'd display,
Each for itself, and all as with one voice
Conspiring, may attest his bright design.
Nor even then, dismiffing 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 fake, the living to the dead.
Some cloath the foil that feeds them, far diffus'd
And lowly creeping, modeft 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
All hate the rank fociety of weeds,
Noisome, and ever greedy to exhaust
Th’impov'rish'd earth ; an overbearing race,
That like the multitude, made faction-mad,
Disturb good order, and degrade true worth.
Oh bleft feclufion from a jarring world,
Which he, thus occupied, enjoys ! Retreat
Cannot indeed to guilty man restore
Loft innocence, or cancel follies paft,
But it has peace, and much secures the mind
From all affaults of evil, proving still
A faithful barrier, not o'erleap'd with ease
By vicious custom, raging uncontrould
Abroad, and defolating 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 chice of sublunary good,
What could I wish, that I poflefs not here?
Health, leisure, means t’improve it, friendship,
No loose or wanton, though a wand'ring muse,
And constant occupation without care.
Thus blest, I draw a picture of that blifs ;
Hopeless indeed that diffipated 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 its 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 callid,
Vain-glorious of her charms, his Vashti forth
To 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 fo fair a creature should yet want
Admirers, and be deftin'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 filence charms,
To be preferr'd to smoke, to the eclipse
The Metropolitan volcanos make,
Whose Stygian throats breathe darkness all day