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There blooms exotic beauty, warm and snug,
While the winds whistle and the snows descend.
The spiry myrtle, with unwithering leaf,
Shines there, and flourishes. The golden boast
Of Portugal and western India there,
The ruddier orange, and the paler lime,
Peep through their polish'd foliage at the storm,
And seem to smile at what they need not fear.
The amomum there with intermingling flowers
And cherries, hangs her twigs. Geranium boasts
Her crimson honours, and the spangled beau,
Ficoides, glitters bright the winter long.
All plants, of every leaf that can endure
The winter's frown, if screen'd from his shrewd bite,
Live there, and prosper. Those Ausonia claims,
Levantine regions these ; the Azores send
Their jessaniine, her jessamine remote
Caffraia : foreigners from many lands,
They form one social shade, as if conven'd
By magic summons of the Orphean lyre.
Yet just arrangement, rarely brought to pass
But by a master's hand, disposing well
The gay diversities of leaf and flow'r,
Must lend its aid to illustrate all their charms,
And dress the regular, yet various scene.
Plant behind plant aspiring, in the van
The dwarfish, in the rear retir'd, but still
Sublime above the rest, the statelier stand.
So once were rang'd the sons of ancient Rome,
A noble show! while Roscius trod the stage ;
And so, while Garrick, as renown'd as he,
The sons of Albion ; fearing each to lose
Some note of Nature's music from his lips,
And covetous of Shakespeare's beauty, seen
In every flash of his far-beaming eye.
Nor taste alone, and well-contriv'd display,
Suffice to give the marshallid ranks the grace
Of their complete effe&t. Much yet remains
Unsung, and many cares are yet behind,
And more laborious ; cares on which depend,
Their vigour, injur'd soon, not soon restor'd.
The soil must be renewd. which often washid,
Loses its treasure of salubrious salts,
And disappoints the roots; the slender roots
Close interwoven, where they meet the vase,
Must sniooth be shorn away; the sapless branch

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Must fly before the knife; the wither'd leaf
Must be detachd, 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 spare, that loves them, offices like these ?)
Well they reward the toil. The sight is pleas'd,
The scent regal'd, each odoriferous leaf,
Each opening blossom, freely breathes abroad
It's gratitude, and thanks him with its sweets.

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So manifold, all pleasing in their kind, All healthful, are the employs of rural life,

625 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 flowery island, from the dark green lawn

630 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)

635 Is needful. Strength may wield the ponderous 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.

640 Without it all is Gothic as the scene To which the insipid citizen resorts Near yonder heath; where industry mispent, But proud of his uncouth, ill-chosen task, Has made a heaven on earth : with suns and moons 645 Of close-ramm'd stones has charg'd the encumber'd soil, And fairly laid the zodiac in the dust. He, therefore, who would see his flowers dispos’d Sightly, and in just order, ere he gives The beds the trusted treasure of their seeds,

650 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, dismissing as perform'd

655 His pleasant work, may he

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it done. Few self-supported flowers endure the wind Uninjur'd, but expect the upholding aid

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Of the smooth-shaven prop, and, neatly tied,
Are wedded thus, like beauty to old age,

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For interest sake, 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 665
With clasping tendrils, and invest his branch,
Else unadorn’d, with many a gay festoon
And fragrant chaplei, recompensing well
The strength they borrow, with the grace they lend.
All hate the rank society of weeds,

670 Noisome, and ever greedy to exhaust The impoverish'd earth ; an overbearing race, That, like the multitude made faction-mad, Disturb good order, and degrade true worth. Oh, blest seclusion from a jarring world,

675 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

680 A faithful barrier, not o'erleap'd with ease. By vicious custom, raging uncontroul'd. Abroad, and desolating public life. When fierce temptation, seconded within By traitor appetite, and arm'd with darts

685 Temper'd with 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?

690 Health, leisure, means to improve it, friendship, peace No loose or wanton, though a wandering muse, And constant occupation without care. Thus blest, I draw a picture of that bliss ; Hopeless, indeed, that dissipated minds,

695 And profligate abusers of a world Created fair so much in vain for them, Should seek the the guiltless joys that I describe, Allur'd by my report : but sure no less, That, self-condemn'd they must neglect the prize, 700 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

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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 yirtue, and those scenes which God ordain'd
Should best secure them and promote them most;
Seenes that I love, and with regret perceive
Forsaken, or through folly not enjoy'd.
Pure is the nymph, though liberal 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 so fair a creature should yet want
Admirers, and be destin'd to divide,
With meaner objects, even the few she finds !
Stripp'd of her ornaments, her leaves and fiowers,
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,
And thundering lond, with his ten thousand wheels ?
They would be, were not madness in the head,
And folly in the heart; were England now,
What England was, plain, hospitable, kind,
And undebauch'a. But we have bid farewell
To all the virtues of those better days,
And all their honest pleasures. Mansions once
Knew their own masters ; and laborious hinds,
Who had surviv'd the father, sery'd the son.
Now the legitimate and rightful lord

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Is but a transient guest, newly arriv'd,

750 And soon to be supplanted. He that saw His patrimonial timber cast its leaf, Sells the last scantling, and transfers the price To some shrewd sharper, ere it buds again. Estates are landscapes, gaz'd upon a while,

7755 Then advertis d, and auctioneer'd away. The country starves, and they that feed the o'ercharg'd And surfeited lewd town with her fair dues, By a just judgment strip and starve themselves. The wings that waft our riches out of sight

760 Grow on the gamester's elbows; and the alert And nimble motion of those restless joints, That never tire, soon fans them all away. Improvement too, the idol of the age, Is fed with many a victim. Lo, he comes !

765 The omnipotent magician, Brown, appears ! Down falls the venerable pile, the abode Of our forefathers--a grave whisker'd race, But tasteless. Springs a palace in its stead, But in a distant spot; where, more expos'd,

770 It may enjoy the advantage of the north, And aguish east, till time shall have transform'd Those naked acres to a sheltering grove. lle speaks. The lake in front becomes a lawn ; Woods vanish, hills subside, and vallies rise ;

775 And streams, as if created for his use, Pursue the track of his directing wand, Sinuous or straight, now rapid and now slow, Now murmuring soft, now roaring in cascadesEven as he bids! The enraptur'd owner smiles.

789 'Tis finish'd, and yet, finish'd as it seems, Still wants a grace, the loveliest it could shew, A mine to satisfy the enormous cost. Drain'd to the last poor item of his wealth, He sighs, departs, and leaves the accomplish'd plan 785 That he has touch'd, retouch'd, many a long day Labour'd, and many a night pursu'd in dreams, Just when it meets his hopes, and proves the heaven He wanted, for a wealthier to enjoy! And now perhaps the glorious hour is come,

790 When, having n10 stake left, no pledge to endear Her interests, or that gives her sacred cause A moment's operation on his love, He burns with most intense and flagrant zeal To serve his country. Ministerial grace

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