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And when 't had left me far away,
"Twould stay, and run again, and stay.
For it was nimbler much than hinds;
And trod, as if on the four winds.

I have a garden of my own,
But so with roses overgrown,
And lilies, that you would it guess
To be a little wilderness,
And all the spring-time of the year
It only loved to be there.
Among the beds of lilies I
Have sought it oft, where it should lie;
Yet could not, till itself would rise,
Find it, although before mine eyes ;
For, in the flaxen lilies' shade,
It like a bank of lilies laid.
Upon the roses it would feed,
Until its lips ev'n seemed to bleed;
And then to me 'twould boldly trip,
And print those roses on my lip.
But all its chief delight was still
On roses thus itself to fill;
And its pure virgin limbs to fold
In whitest sheets of lilies cold.
Had it lived long, it would have been
Lilies without, roses within.

Oh help! oh help! I see it faint, And die as calmly as a saint. See how it weeps! the tears do come, Sad, slowly, dropping like a gum. So weeps the wounded balsam; so The holy frankincense doth flow. The brotherless Heliades Melt in such amber tears as these.

I in a golden vial will Keep these two crystal tears; and fill It, till it do o'erflow with mine; Then place it in Diana's shrine.

Now my sweet fawn is vanish'd to Whither the swans and turtles go; In fair Elysium to endure, With milk-white lambs and ermines pure. Oh do not run too fast: for I Will but bespeak thy grave, and die.

First my unhappy statue shall Be cut in marble; and, withal, Let it be weeping too; but there Th' engraver sure his art may spare, For I so truly thee bemoan, That I shall weep though I be stone; Until my tears, still dropping, wear My breast, themselves engraving there. There at my feet shalt thou be laid, Of purest alabaster made ; For I would have thine image be White as I can, though not as thee.

THE 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 verged shade
Does prudently their toils upbraid ;
While all the flow'rs 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.

What wondrous life in this I lead!
Ripe apples drop about my head.
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine.
The nectarine, the curious peach,
Into my hands themselves do reach.
Stumbling on melons as I pass,
Ensnared with flow'ers, 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 gard'ner drew
Of flow'rs, and herbs, this dial new :
Where, from above, the milder sun
Does through the fragrant zodiac run:
And, as it works, th' industrious bee
Computes his time as well as we.
How could such sweet and wholesome hours
Be reckon'd but with herbs and flowers ?

164 ANNE, COUNTESS OF WINCHELSEA.

ANNE, COUNTESS OF WINCHELSEA.

1720.

RETREAT.

Give me, oh indulgent Fate,
Give me yet before I die,
A sweet but absolute retreat
'Mong paths so lost and trees so high,
That the world may ne'er invade,
Through such windings and such shade,

My unshaken liberty.

No intruders thither come
Who visit but to be from home;
None who their vain moments pass,
Only studious of their glass :
News that charm to listening ears,
That false alarm to hopes and fears,
That common theme for every fop,
From the statesman to the shop.
In those coverts ne'er be spread
Of who's deceased or who's to wed,
Be no tidings thither brought;
But, silent as a midnight thought,
Where the world may ne'er invade,
Be those windings and that shade.

Courteous Fate! afford me there
A table spread without my care,
With what the neighbouring fields impart,
Whose cleanliness be all its art.
When of old the calf was dress'd,
Though to make an angel's feast,
In the plain unstudied sauce,
Nor treufle nor morillia was.
Nor could the mighty patriarch's board
me far-fetched ortolan afford.

ANNE, COUNTESS OF WINCHELSEA.

165

Courteous fate, then give me there
Only plain and wholesome fare;
Fruits, indeed, would Heaven bestow,
All that did in Eden grow;
All but the forbidden tree
Would be coveted by me:
Grapes with juice so crowded up,
As breaking through the native cup;
Figs yet growing, candied o'er
By the sun's attracting power;
Cherries, with the downy peach,
All within my easy reach;
While creeping near the humble ground
Should the strawberry be found,
Springing wheresoe'er I strayed
Through those windings and that shade.
Give me there, since Heaven has shown
It was not good to be alone,
A partner suited to my mind,
Solitary, pleased, and kind,
Who partially may something see
Preferred to all the world in me;
Slighting by my humble side,
Fame and splendour, wealth and pride.
When but two the earth possess'd,
'Twas their happiest days and best ;
They by business nor by wars,
They by no domestic cares,
From each other e'er were drawn;
But in some grove or flowery lawn
Spent the swiftly flying time,
Spent their own and Nature's prime,
In love—that only passion given
To perfect man while friends with Heaven.
Rage, and jealousies, and hate,
Transports of his fallen state,
When by Satan's wiles betrayed,
Fly those windings and that shade.

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