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We have short time to stay, as you,
We have as short a Spring ;
As quick a growth to meet decay
As you, or any thing.
As your hours do, and dry
Like to the Summer's rain ;
Or as the pearls of morning's dew
Ne'er to be found again.
THOUGHTS IN A GARDEN How vainly men themselves amaze To win the palm, the oak, or bays, And their incessant labours see Crown'd from some single herb or tree, Whose short and narrow-vergéd shade Does prudently their toils upbraid ; While all the flowers and trees do close To weave the garlands of Repose. Fair Quiet, have I found thee here, And Innocence thy sister dear ? Mistaken long, I sought you then In busy companies of men : Your sacred plants, if here below, Only among the plants will grow : Society is all but rude To this delicious solitude.
No white nor red was ever seen
So amorous as this lovely green.
Fond lovers, cruel as their flame,
Cut in these trees their mistress' name :
Little, alas, they know or heed
How far these beauties her exceed !
Fair trees ! where'er your barks I wound
No name shall but your own be found.
When we have run our passion's heat
Love hither makes his best retreat :
The gods, who mortal beauty chase,
Still in a tree did end their race :
Apollo hunted Daphne so
Only that she might laurel grow :
And Pan did after Syrinx speed
Not as a nymph, but for a reed.
What wondrous life is this I lead !
Ripe apples drop about my head ;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine ;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach ;
Stumbling on melons, as I pass,
Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.
Meanwhile the mind from pleasure less
Withdraws into its happiness ;
The mind, that ocean where each kind
Does straight its own resemblance find ;
Yet it creates, transcending these,
Far other worlds, and other seas ;
Annihilating all that's made
To a green thought in a green shade.
Here at the fountain's sliding foot
Or at some fruit-tree's mossy root,
Casting the body's vest aside
My soul into the boughs does glide ;
There, like a bird, it sits and sings,
Then whets and claps its silver wings,
And, till prepared for longer flight,
Waves in its plumes the various light.
Such was that happy Garden-state
While man there walk'd without a mate :
After a place so pure and sweet,
What other help could yet be meet !
But 'twas beyond a mortal's share
To wander solitary there :
Two paradises are in one,
To live in Paradise alone.
How well the skilful gardener drew
Of flowers and herbs this dial new !
Where, from above, the milder sun
Does through a fragrant zodiac run :
And, as it works, th' industrious bee
Computes its time as well as we.
How could such sweet and wholesome hours
Be reckon'd, but with herbs and flowers !
Hence, loathéd Melancholy,
Of Cerberus and blackest Midnight born In Stygian cave forlorn
'Mongst horrid shapes, and shrieks, and sights unholy! Find out some uncouth cell
Where brooding Darkness spreads his jealous wings And the night-raven sings ;
There under ebon shades, and low-brow'd rocks
As ragged as thy locks,
In dark Cimmerian desert ever dwell.
But come, thou Goddess fair and free,
In heaven yclep'd Euphrosyne,
And by men, heart-easing Mirth,
Whom lovely Venus at a birth
With two sister Graces more
To ivy-crownéd Bacchus bore :
Or whether (as some sager sing)
The frolic wind that breathes the spring
Zephyr, with Aurora playing,
As he met her once a-Maying--
There on beds of violets blue
And fresh-blown roses wash'd in dew
Fill'd her with thee, a daughter fair,
So buxom, blithe, and debonair.
Haste thee, Nymph, and bring with thee Jest, and youthful jollity, Quips, and cranks, and wanton wiles, Nods, and becks, and wreathéd smiles Such as hang on Hebe's cheek, And love to live in dimple sleek ; Sport that wrinkled Care derides, And Laughter holding both his sides :-Come, and trip it as you go On the light fantastic toe; And in thy right hand lead with thee The mountain nymph, sweet Liberty ; And if I give thee honour due Mirth, admit me of thy crew, To live with her, and live with thee In unreproved pleasures free; To hear the lark begin his flight And singing startle the dull night From his watch-tower in the skies, Till the dappled dawn doth rise ; Then to come, in spite of sorrow, And at my window bid good-morrow Through the sweetbriar, or the vine, Or the twisted eglantine : While the cock with lively din Scatters the rear of darkness thin, And to the stack, or the barn-door, Stoutly struts his dames before : Oft listening how the hounds and horn Cheerly rouse the slumbering morn, From the side of some hoar hill, Through the high wood echoing shrill. Sometime walking, not unseen, By hedge-row elms, on hillocks green, Right against the eastern gate Where the great Sun begins his state Robed in flames and amber light, The clouds in thousand liveries dight; While the ploughman, near at hand, Whistles o'er the furrow'd land, And the milkmaid singeth blithe, And the mower whets his scythe,
And every shepherd tells his tale
Under the hawthorn in the dale.
Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures
Whilst the landscape round it measures ;
Russet lawns, and fallows gray,
Where the nibbling flocks do stray;
Mountains, on whose barren breast
The labouring clouds do often rest;
Meadows trim with daisies pied,
Shallow brooks, and rivers wide ;
Towers and battlements it sees
Bosom'd high in tufted trees,
Where perhaps some Beauty lies,
The Cynosure of neighbouring eyes.
Hard by, a cottage chimney smokes
From betwixt two aged oaks,
Where Corydon and Thyrsis, met,
Are at their savoury dinner set
Of herbs, and other country messes
Which the neat-handed Phillis dresses ;
And then in haste her bower she leaves
With Thestylis to bind the sheaves ;
Or, if the earlier season lead,
To the tann'd haycock in the mead.
Sometimes with secure delight
The upland hamlets will invite,
When the merry bells ring round,
And the jocund rebecks sound
To many a youth and many a maid,
Dancing in the chequer'd shade;
And young and old come forth to play
On a sun-shine holy-day,
Till the live-long day-light fail :
Then to the spicy nut-brown ale,
With stories told of many a feat,
How faery Mab the junkets eat ;
She was pinch'd, and pull’d, she said ;
And he, by friar's lantern led ;
Tells how the drudging Goblin sweat
To earn his cream-bowl duly set,
When in one night, ere glimpse of morn,
His shadowy flail hath thresh'd the corn