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To a lord's house, as lordly as can be,
Made for the use of pride and luxury,
They come; the gentle courtier at the door
Stops, and will hardly enter in before ;
But 'tis, fir, your command, and being so,
I'm sworn t obedience; and so in they go.
Behind a hanging in a spacious room
(The richest work of Mortclake's noble loom)
They wait a while, thcir wearied limbs to reft,
Till filence should invite them to their feat.
“ About the hour that Cynthia's filver light
“ Had touch'd the pale meridies of the night;"
At last, the various fupper being done,
It happen’d that the company was gone
Into a room remote, servants and all,
To please their noble fancies with a ball.
Our hoft leads forth his stranger, and does find
All fitted to the bounties of his mind.
Still on the table half-fill'd dishes stood,
And with delicious bits the floor was strew'd.
The courteous mouse presents him with the best,
And both with fat varieties are bleft.
Th’industrious peasant every where does range,
And thanks the gods for his life's happy change.
Lo! in the midit of a well-freighted pye,
They both at last glutted and wanton lie;
When, see the sad reverse of prosperous fate,
And what fierce storms on mortal glories wait!
With hideous noise down the rude servants come,
Six dogs before run barking into th' room ;
The wretched gluttons fly with wild affright,
And hate the fullness, which retards their flight.
Our trembling peasant wilhes now, in vain,
That rocks and mountains cover'd him again;
Oh, how the change of his poor life he curit!
This, of all lives (said he) is sure the worst :
Give me again, ye gods, my cave and wood !
With peace, let tares and acorns be my food !
A PARAPHRASE UPON THE TENTH EPISTLE OF THE
FIRST BOOK OF HORACE.
HORACE TO FUSCUS ARISTIU S.
HEALTH, from the lover of the country, me,
Health, to the lover of the city, thee ;
A difference in our souls, this only proves;
In all things else, we agree like married doves.
Blit the warm nest and crowded dove-house thou
Dost like; I loosely fly from bough to bough,
And rivers drink, and all the mining day
Upon fair trees or mosiy rocks I play ;
In a proud rage, Who can that Aglais be!
We have heard, as yet, of no such king as he.
And true it was, through the whole earth around
No king of such a name was to be found.
Is some old hero of that name alive,
Who his high race does from the gods derive ?
Is it some mighty general, that has done
Wonders in fighi, and godlike honours won?
Is it fome man of endless wealth ? said he.
None, none of these. Who can this Aglaiis be?
After long search, and vain enquiries paft,
In an obfcure Arcadian vale at last
(Th’ Arcadian life bus al.vays thady been)
Near Sophu's town (which he but once had seen)
This Aglaüs, who monarch’s envy drew,
Whose happiness the god food witnesa to,
Tl.is mighty Aglaüs, was labouring found,
With his own hands, in his own little ground.
So, gracious God! (if it may lawful be,
Among those foclish geds to mention thee)
So let me act, on such a pinto itage,
The last Jull fee.ies of my declining age;
Ater long toils and voyages in vain,
This quiet port let my toft vessel gain ;
Of heavenly rest, this earnest to me lend,
Let my life sleep, and learn to love her end.
NEVER had any other defire so strong and so like to covetousness, as that one
which I have had always, that I might be master at last of a small house and large garden, with very moderate conveniences joined them, and there dedicate the remainder of my life only to the culture of them, and study of nature;
And there (with no design beyond my wall) whole and intire to lie,
In no unactive ease, and no unglorious poverty.
Or, as Virgil has faid, forter and better for me, that I might there
“ Studiis forere ignobilis oti * :" (though I could wish that he had rather faid, “ Nobilis oti," when he spoke of his own.) But several accidents of my ill-fortune have disappointed me hitherto, and do ftill, of that felicity; for though I have made the firit and hardest step to it, by abandoning all ambitions and hopes in this world, and by retiring from the noise of all business and almost company, yet I stick still in the ion of a hired house and garden, among weeds and rubbish; and without that pleafanteft wirk of human iudufiry, the improvement of something which we call (not very properly, but yet we call) our own. I am gone out from Sodom, but I am not yet arrived at my little Zoar. “ O let me escape thither (is it not a little one ?) and my soul shall live.” I do not look back yet; but I have been forced to stop, and make too many halts. You may wonder, Sir, (for
this seems a little too extravagant and pindarical for profe) what I mean by all this preface ; it is to let you know, that though I have missed, like a chemist, my great end, yet I account my affections and endeavours well rewarded by fomething that I have met with by the bye ; which is, that they have procured to me some part in your kindness and eiteem; and thereby the honour of having my name fo advantageously recommended to pofterity, by the epittle you are pleased to prefix to the most useful book that has been written in that kind , and which is to last as long as months and years.
Among many other arts and excellencies, which you enjoy, I am glad to find this favourite of mine the most predominant; that you choose this for your wife, though you have hundreds of other arts for your concubines; though you know them, and beget fons upon them all (to which you are rich enough to allow great legacies), yet the iffue of this feeins to be defigned by you to the main of the estate ; you have taken most pleasure in it, and bestowed most charges upon its education: and I doubt not to see that book, which you are pleased to promise to the world, and of which you have given us a large earnest in your calendar, as accomplished, as any thing can be expected from an extraordinary wit, and no ordinary expences, and a long experience. I know nobody that possesses more private happiness than you do in your garden; and yet no man, who makes his happiness more public, by a free communication of the art and knowledge of it to others. All that I myself am able yet to do, is only to recommend to mankind the search of that felicity, which you instruct them how to
Happy art thou, whom God does bless
With the full choice of thine own happiness ;
And happier yet, because thou’rt bleft
With prudence, how to choose the belt :
In books and gardens thou hast plac'd aright
(Things, which thou well dott understand ;
And both doft make with thy laborious hand)
Thy noble, innocent delight;
And in thy virtuous wife, where thou again doft meet
Both pleasures more refin’d and sweet ;
The faireit garden in her looks,
And in her mind the wirelt books.
Oh, who would change these soft, yet folid joys,
For empty shows and senseless noise ;
And all which rank ambition breeds,
Which seem such beauteous flowers, and are such poisonous weeds?
When God did man to his own likeness make,
As much as clay, though of the purest kind,
By the great potter's art refin'd,
Could the divine impression take,
He thought it fit to place him, where
A kind of heaven too did appear,
As far as earth could such a likeness bear:
That man no happiness might want,
Which earth to her first maler could afford,
He did a garden for him plant
By the quick hand of his omnipotent word.
As the chief help and joy of human life,
gave him the first gitt; firit, ev'n before a wife.
For God, the universal architect,
'T had been as easy to erect
: Mr. Evelyn's « Kalendarium hortenfe;” dedicated to Mr. Cowley—The title explains the propriety of the compliment, that this book was to last as long as months and years. Hund.
A Louvre or Escurial, or a tower
That might with heaven communication hold,
As Babel vainly thought to do of old :
He wanted not the fkill or power;
In the world's fabric those were shown,
And the materials were all his own.
But well he knew, what place would beft agree
With innocence, and with felicity :
And we elsewhere still seek for them in vain ;
Il any part of either yet remain,
If any part of either we expect,
This may our judgment in the search direct ;
God the first garden made, and the first city Cair.
O blessed shades! O gentle, cool retreat
From all th' immoderate heat,
In which the frantic world does burn and sweat!
This does the lion-star, ambition's
This avarice, the dog-ftar's thirst, affuage ;
Every where else their fatal power we fee,
They make and rule man's wretched destiny:
They neither set, nor disappear,
But tyrannize o'er all the year;
Whilst we ne'er feel their flame or influence here.
The birds that dance from bough to bough,
And fing above in every tree,
Are not from fears and cares more free
Than we, who lie, or fit, or walk, below,
And should by right be fingers too.
What prince's choir of music can excel
That, which within this shade does dwell ?
To which we nothing pay or give ;
They, like all other poets, live Without reward, or thanks, for their obliging pains : "Tis well if they become not prey: 'The whistling winds add their less artful strains, And a grave bass the murmuring fountains play ; Nature does all this harmony bestow,
But to our plants, art's music too,
The pipe, theorbo, and guittar, we owe;
The lute itself, which once was green and mute,
When Orpheus strook th' inspired lute,
The trees danc'd round, and understood
By sympathy the voice of wood.
These are the spells, that to kind Neep invite,
And nothing does within resistance make,
Which yet we moderately take ;
Who would not choose to be awake, While he's encompast round with such delight, To th’ear, the nose, the touch, the taste, and fight? When Venus would her dear Ascanius keep* A prisoner in the downy bands of fleep, She odorous herbs and flowers beneath him fpread,
As the most soft and sweetest bed;
Not her own lap would more have charm’d his head.
Who, that has reason, and his smell,
Would not among roses and jasamine dwell,
Rather than all his spirits choak
With exhalations of dirt and smoke,
And all th' uncleañness which does drown,
In peftilential clouds, a populous town?
The earth itself breathes better perfumes here,
Than all the female men, or women, there,
Not without cause, about them bear.
When Epicurus to the world had taught,
That pleasure was the chiefest good
(And was, perhaps, i'th' right, if rightly understood)
His life he to his doctrine brought,
And in a garden's shade that sovereign pleasure fought:
Whoever a true epicure would be,
May there find cheap and virtuous luxury.
Vitellius's table, which did hold
As many creatures as the ark of old ;
That fiscal table, to which every day
All countries did a constant tribute pay,
Could nothing more delicious afford
Than nature's liberality,
Help'd with a little art and industry,
Allows the meanest gardener's board.
The wanton taste no fish or fowl can choose,
For which the grape or melon she would lose ;
Though all th' inhabitants of sea and air
Be listed in the glutton's bill of fare,
Yet Aill the fruits of earth we see
Plac'd the third story high in all her luxury,
But with no sense the garden does comply,
None courts, or flatters, as it does the eye.
When the great Hebrew king did almost strain
The wondrous treasures of his wealth and brain,
His royal southern guest to entertain ;
Though she on filver floors did tread,
With bright Assyrian carpets on them spread,
To hide the metal's poverty ;
Though she look'd up to roofs of gold,
And nought around her could behold
But filk and rich embroidery,
And Babylonilh tapestry,
And wealthy Hiram's princely dye ;
ftarry stones met every where her eye ; Though the herself and her gay
hoft were drejt
With all the shining glories of the East;
When lavish art her costly work had done,
The honour and the prize of bravery
Was by the garden from the palace won;
And every rose and lilly there did stand
Better attir’d by nature's hand *.