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Oh, blest seclusion from a jarring world, 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 A faithful barrier, not o'erleap'd with ease By vicious custom, raging uncontrollid Abroad, and defolating public life. When fierce temptation, feconded within By traitor appetite, and arm’d with darts Temperd in hell, invades the throbbing breait, To combat may be glorious, and success Perhaps may crown us; but to fly is fafe. Had I the choice of sublunary good, What could I wish, that I possess not here? Health, leisure, means t' improve it, friendship, peace, 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 tafte 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 moft ; 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 chafte, though unconfin'd, whom I extol. Not as the prince in Shushan, when he call'd, 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


bitters too,
Nature, enchanting Nature, in whose form
And lineaments divine I trace a hand
That errs not, and find rapture still renew'd,
Is free to all men- universal prize.

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Strange that so fair a creature should yet want
Admirers, and be destin'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.
Put are not wholesome airs, though unperfum'
By roses; and clear funs, though scarcely felt ;

if unharmonious, yet secure
From clamour, and whose very Glence 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 Ilir of commerce, driving flow,
And thund'ring loud, 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'd. 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
Is, but a transient guest, newly arriv'd,

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, Then advertis'd, and auctioneer'd away. The country starves, and they that feed th' 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 Grow on the gamester's elbows; and th' alert And nimble motion of those restless joints, That never tire, foon fans them all away. Improvement too, the idol of the age, Is fed with many a victim. Lo, he comes ! Th' omnipotent magician, Brown, appears ! Down-falls the venerable pile, th' 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, It may enjoy th' advantage of the north, And aguilh east, till time shall have transforni'd Those naked acres to a sheltring grove. He speaks, the lake in front becomes a lawn; Woods vanish, hills fubfide, and valleys rise ; And streams, as if created for his use,

Pursue the track of his directing wand;
Sinuous or straight, now rapid, and now slow,
Now murm'ring foft, now roaring in cascades--
Ev’n as he bids! Th’enraptur’d owner smiles.
'Tis finish'd, and yet, finish'd as it seems,
Still wants a grace, the loveliest it could show,
A mine to satisfy th’ enormous cost.
Drain'd to the last


item of his wealth,
He sighs, departs, and leaves th'accomplish'd plan
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 hear'n
He wanted, for a wealthier to enjoy!
And now perhaps the glorious hour is come,
When, having no stake left, no pledge tendear
Her int’rests, or that gives her sacred cause
A moment's operation on his love,
He burns with most intense and flagrant zeal
To serve his


Deals him out money from the public chest;
Or, if that mine be shut, fome private purse
Supplies his need with an ufurious loan,
To be refunded duly when his vote,
Well-manag'd, shall have earn'd its worthy price.
Oh innocent, compar'd with arts like these,
Crape, and cock'd pistol, and the whistling ball

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