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Ingenious Cowfey! and, though now reclaim'd
By modern lights from an erroneous taste,
I cannot but lament thy splendid wit
Entangled in the cobwebs of the schools.
I ftill revere thee, courtly though retir’d;
Though stretch'd at ease in Chertsey's filent bow'rs,
Not unemploy'd ; and finding rich amends
For a loft world in folitude and verse.
'Tis born with all : the love of Nature's works
Is an ingredient in the compound man,
Infus'd at the creation of the kind.
And, though th' Almighty Maker has throughout
Discriminated each from each, by strokes
And touches of his hand, with so much art
Diversified, that two were never found
Twins at all points yet this obtains in all,
That all discern a beauty in his works,
And all can taste them: minds that have been form'd
And tutor’d, with a relish more exact,
But none without some relish, none unmov'd.
It is a fame that dies not even there,
Where nothing feeds it: neither butiness, crowds,
Nor habits of luxurious city-life;
Whatever else they (mother of true worth
In human bofoms; quench it, or abate.
The villas with which London stands begirt,
Like a swarth Indian with his belt of beads,
Prove it. A breath of unadult'rate air,
The glimpse of a green pasture, how they cheer
The citizen, and brace his languid frame!
Ev'n in the Itifling bofom of the town,
A garden, in which nothing thrives, has charms
That sooth the rich possessor ; much confold,
That here and there some sprigs of mournful mint,
Of nightshade, or valerian, grace the well
He cultivates. These serve him with a hint
That Nature lives; that fi hat-refreshing green
Is still the liv'ry the delights to wear,
Though fickly samples of th' exub'rant whole.
What are the casements lin’d with creeping herbs,
The prouder salhes fronted with a range
Of orange, myrtle, or the fragrant weed,
The Frenchman's * darling ? are they not all proofs
That man, immur'd in cities, still retains
His inborn inextinguishable thirst
Of rural scenes, compensating his loss
By supplemental shifts, the best he may ?
The most unfurnish'd with the means of life,
And they that never pass their brick-wall bounds
To range the fields and treat their lungs with air,
Yet feel the burning instinct : over-head
Suspend their crazy boxes, planted thick,
And water'd duly. There the pitcher stands
A fragment, and the spoutless t-a-pot there ;
Sad witnesses how close-pent man regrets
The country, with what ardour he contrives
A peep at nature, when he can no more,
Hail, therefore, patroness of health, and ease, And contemplation, heart-consoling joys And harmless pleasures, in the throng'd abode Of multitudes unknown; hail, rural life! Address himself who will to the pursuit Of honours, or emoluments, or fame; I shall not add myself to such a chase, Thwart his attempts, or envy his success. Some must be great. Great offices will have Great talents. And God gives to ev'ry man The virtue, temper, understanding, taste, That lifts him into life; and lets im fall Just in the niche he was ordain’d to fill. To the deliv'rer of an injur'd land He gives a tongue to enlarge upon, an heart
To feel, and courage to redress her wrongs ;
To monarchs dignity; to judges sense ;
To artists ingenuity and skill;
To me an unambitious mind, content
In the low vale of life, that early felt
A wish for e.se and leisure, and ere long
Found here that leisure and that ease I wih'd,