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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
Inceffant, 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 scite 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 feldom waits,
Dependent on the baker's punctual call,
To hear his creaking panniers at the door,
Angry and fad, and his laft crust consum'd.
So farewel envy of the peasant's nest.
If folitude 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 colonade
Monument of ancient taste,
Now scorn'd, but worthy of a better fate.
Our fathers knew the value of a screen
From sultry funs, and in their shaded walks
And long-protracted bow'rs, enjoy'd at noon
The gloom and coolness of declining day.
We bear our shades about us ; felf-depriv'd
Of other screen, the thin umbrella spread,
range an Indian waste without a tree. Thanks to * Benévolus-he spares me yet
• John Courtney Throckmorton, Esq. of Weston Underwood.
These chesnuts rang'd in corresponding lines,
And though himself fo polish'd, still reprieves
The obsolete prolixity of shade.
Descending now (but cautious, lest too fast)
A sudden steep, upon a rustic bridge
We pass a gulph, in which the willows dip
Their pendent boughs, stooping as if to drink.
Hence, ancle-deep in moss and flow'ry thyme,
We mount again, and feel at ey'ry step
Our foot half funk in hillocks green and soft,
Rais'd by the mole, the miner of the soil.
He, not unlike the great ones of mankind,
Disfigures earth, and, plotting in the dark,
Toils much to earn a monumental pile,
record the mischiefs he has done.ro
The summit gain’d, behold the proud alcove:
That crowns it! yet not all its pride secures.
The grand retreat from injuries impress’d
By rural carvers, who with knives deface
The pannels, leaving an obscure, rude name,
In characters uncouth, and spelt amiss.
So strong the zeal t immortalize himself
Beats in the breast of man, that ev'n a few
Few transient years won from th' abyfs abhorr'd
Of blank oblivion, seem a glorious prize,
And even to a clown. Now roves the eye,
And posted on this fpeculative height
Exults in its command. The sheep-fold here
Pours out its fleecy tenants o'er the glebe.
At first, progressive as a stream, they seek
The middle field; but scatter'd by degrees,
Each to his choice, foon whiten all the land.
There, from the sun-burnt hay-field, homeward creeps
The loaded wain, while, lighten'd of its charge,
The wain that meets it paffes swiftly by,
The boorish driver leaning o'er his team
Vocif'rous, and impatient of delay.
Nor less attractive is the woodland scene,
Diversify'd with trees of ev'ry growth,
Alike, yet various. Here the grey smooth trunks ,
Of ash or lime, or beech, distinctly shine,
Within the twilight of their distant shades;
There, loft behind a rising ground, the wood
Seems sunk, and shorten'd to its topmost boughs.
No tree in all the grove but has its charms,
Though each its hue peculiar ; paler some,
And of a wannish grey; the willow such,
And poplar, that with silver lines his leaf,
And ash far-stretching his umbrageous arm:
Of deeper green the elm ; and deeper still,
Lord of the woods, the long-surviving oak.
Some gloffy-leav'd and shining in the fun,
The maple, and the beech of oily nuts
Prolific, and the lime at dewy eve
Diffusing odors: nor unnoted pass
The sycamore, capricious in attire,
Now green, now tawny, and, ere autumn yet
Have chang'd the woods, in scarlet honors bright.