If, Friends, you would but now this place accost,
E’re the young Spring that Epithet has lost,
And of my rural joy participate;
You’d learn to talk at this distracted rate.
Hail, Solitude, where Innocence do’s shroud
Her unvail’d Beauties from the cens’ring Croud;
Let me but have her Company, and I
Shall never envy this World’s Gallantry:
We’ll find out such inventions to delude
And mock all those that mock our solitude,
That they for shame shall fly for their defence
To gentle Solitude and Innocence:
Then they will find how much they’ve been deceiv’d,
When they the flatt’ries of this World believ’d.
Though to few Objects here we are confin’d,
Yet we have full inlargement of the Mind.
From varying Modes, which do our Lives inslave,
Lo here a full Immunity we have.
For here’s no pride but in the Sun’s bright Beams,
Nor murmuring, but in the Crystal streams.
No avarice is here, but in the Bees,
Nor is Ambition found but in the Trees.
No Wantonness but in the frisking Lamb,
Nor Luxury but when they suck their Dams.
Nor are there here Contrivances of States,
Only the Birds contrive to please their Mates;
Each minute they alternately improve
A thousand harmless ways their artless love.
No Cruel Nymphs are here to tyrannize,
Nor faithless Youths their scorn to exercise;
Unless Narcissus be that sullen he
That can despise his am’rous talking she.
No Emulation here do’s interpose,
Unless betwixt the Tulip and the Rose;
But all things do conspire to make us bless’d,
(Yet chiefly ’tis Contentment makes the Feast)
‘Tis such a pleasing solitude as yet
Romance ne’re found, where happy Lovers met:
Yea such a kind of solitude it is,
Not much unlike to that of Paradise,
Where all things do their choicest good dispence,
And I too here am plac’d in innocence.
I shou’d conclude that such it really were,
But that the Tree of Knowledge won’t grow here:
Though in its culture I have spent some time,
Yet it disdains to grow in our cold Clime,
Where it can neither Fruit nor Leaves produce
Good for its owner, or the publick use.
How can we hope our Minds then to adorn
With any thing with which they were not born;
Since we’re deny’d to make this small advance,
To know their nakedness and ignorance?
For in our Maker’s Laws we’ve made a breach,
And gather’d all that was within our reach,
Which since we ne’re could touch; Altho’ our Eyes
Do serve our longing-Souls to tantalize,
Whilst kinder fate for you do’s constitute
Luxurious Banquets of this dainty Fruit.
Whose Tree most fresh and flourishing do’s grow,
E’er since it was transplanted amongst you;
And you in Wit grow as its branches high,
Deep as its Root too in Philosophy;
Large as its spreading Arms your Reasons grow,
Close as its Umbrage do’s your Iudgments show;
Fresh as its Leaves your sprouting fancies are,
Your Vertues as its Fruits are bright and fair.
© Jane Barker
Some other works of this poet:
- A Congratulatory Poem On His Sacred Majesty James…
- To Mrs. Jane Barker, On Her Resolution Of Versifying No More
- A Virgin Life
- Eyes And Tears
- To Mr. Hill
- To The Admir’d Author, Mr. Thomas Wright
- To The Secretary Of The Muses. A New-Years-Gift
- On The Death Of My Brother
- To The Memory Of The Illustrious Prince George, Duke Of Buckingham
- A Speech To His Mistress In A Garden