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That seizes first the opulent, descends
wrong The plump convivial parson often bears
But faster far, and more than all the rest,
Seem most at variance with all moral good,
Man in society is like a flow'r
665 Beneath one head for purposes of war, Like flow'rs selected from the rest, and bound And bundled close to fill some crowded vase, Fades rapidly, and, by compression marr'd, Contracts defilement not to be endur'd.
670 Hence charter'd boroughs are such publick plagues And burghers, men immaculate perhaps In all their private functions, once combin'd, Become a loathsome body, only fit For dissolution, hurtful to the main.
675 Hence merchants, unimpeachable of sin Against the charities of domestick life, Incorporated, seem at once to lose Their nature ; and, disclaiming all regard For mercy and the common rights of man, 680 Build factories with blood, conducting trade At the sword's point, and dying the white robe Of innocent commercial Justice red. Hence, too, the field of glory, as the world Misdeems it, dazzled by its bright array,
685 With all its majesty of thund'ring pomp, Enchanting musick, and immortal wreaths, Is but a school, where thoughtlessness is taught On principle, where foppery atones For folly, gallantry for ev'ry vice.
690 But slighted as it is, and by the great Abandon'd, and, which still I more regret, Infected with the manners and the modes It know not once, the country wins me still. I never fram'd a wish, or form'd a plan, That flatter'd me with hopes of earthly bliss,
But there I laid the scene. There early stray'd
710 The struggling efforts of my boyish tongue To speak its excellence. I danc'd for joy. I marvellid much that, at so ripe an age As twice seven years, his beauties had then first Engag'd my wonder; and admiring still,
715 And still admiring, with regret suppos’d The joy half lost, because not sooner found. There, too, enamour'd of the life I lov'd, Pathetick in its praise, in its pursuit Determin'd and possessing it at last,
720 With transports such as favour'd lovers feel, I studied, priz'd, and wish'd that I had known, Ingenious Cowley ! and, though now reclaim'd By modern lights from an erroneous taste, I cannot but lament thy splendid wit
723 Entangled in the cobwebs of the schools. I still revere thee, courtly though retir'd ; Though stretch'd at ease in Chertsey's silent bow'rs, Not unemploy'd ; and finding rich amends For a lost world in solitude and verse.
730 "Tis born with all: the love of Nature's works Is an ingredient in the compound man, Infus'd at the creation of the kind. And, though th' Almighty Maker has throughout
Discriminated each from each, by strokes
735 And touches of his hand, with so much art Diversified, that two were never found Twins at all points-yet this obtains in all That all discern a beauty in his works, And all can taste them: minds that have been formd And tutor'd with a relish more exact,
741 But none without some relish, none unmov'd. It is a flame that dies not even there, Where nothing feeds it : neither business, crowds, Nor habits of luxurious city life,
745 Whatever else they smother of true worth In human bosoms, quench it or abate. The villas, with which London stands begirt, Like a swarth Indian with his belt of beads Prove it. A breath of unadult'rate air
750 The glimpse of a green pasture, how they cheer The citizen, and brace his languid frame ! E'en in the stifling bosom of the town A garden, in which nothing thrives, has charms That sooth the rich possessor ; much consolid, 19755 That here and there some sprigs of mournful mint Of nightshade, or valerian, grace the well He cultivates. These serve him with a hint That Nature lives; that sight-refreshing green Is still the liv'ry she delights to wear,
760 Though sickly samples of th' exub'rant whole. What are the casements lin'd with creeping herbs, The prouder sashes fronted with a range Of orange, myrtle, or the fragrant weed, The Frenchman's darling * are they not all proofs, That man, immur'd in cites, still retains
766 His inborn inextinguishable thirst Of rural scenes, compensating his loss By supplemental shifts, the best he may? The most unfurnish'd with the means of life, 770 And they, that never pass their brick-wall bounds,