Page images
PDF
EPUB

640

And sorted hues (each giving each relief,
And by contrasted beauty shining more)
Is needful. Strength may wield the pond'rous

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.
Without it all is Gothic as the scene,
To which th' insipid citizen resorts
Near yonder heath; where Industry mispent,
But proud of his uncouth ill-chosen task,
Has made a Heav'n on Earth; with suns and moons
Of close-ramm'd stones has charg’d th’ encum-

ber'd soil, And fairly laid the zodiac in the dust. He therefore, who would see his flow'rs 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

[graphic]
[ocr errors][merged small]

660

Shall break into it's 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
His pleasant work, may

he
suppose

it done.
Few self-supported flow'rs endure the wind
Uninjur’d, but expect th' upholding aid
Of the smooth-shaven prop, and, neatly tied,
Are wedded thus, like beauty to old age
For int’rest 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
With clasping tendrils, and invest his branch,
Else unadorn'd, with many a gay festoon
And fragrant chaplet, 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

Th' impov'rish'd earth; an overbearing race,
That, like the multitude made faction-mad,
Disturb good order, and degrade true worth.

680

O 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 desolating public life. When fierce temptation, seconded within By traitor appetite, and arm'd with darts Temperd in 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

« PreviousContinue »