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THE SIMPLE LIFE

THE LAKE ISLE OF INNISFREE

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I WILL arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made; Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,

And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping

slow,

Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the

cricket sings; There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,

And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always, night and day,

I hear lake-water lapping with low sounds by the shore; While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray, I hear it in the deep heart's core.

William Butler Yeats (1865

A WISH

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MINE be a cot beside the hill;
A bee-hive's hum shall soothe my ear;
A willowy brook that turns a mill,
With many a fall shall linger near.

The swallow, oft, beneath

my

thatch
Shall twitter from her clay-built nest;
Oft shall the pilgrim lift the latch,
And share my meal, a welcome guest.

Around my ivied porch shall spring
Each fragrant flower that drinks the dew;
And Lucy, at her wheel, shall sing
In russet-gown and apron blue.

“ Thrice Happy He"

1589

The village-church among the trees,
Where first our marriage-vows were given,
With merry peals shall swell the breeze
And point with taper spire to Heaven.

Samuel Rogers (1763-1855)

ODE ON SOLITUDE

HAPPY the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air

In his own ground.

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Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire;
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,

In winter, fire.

Blest, who can unconcernedly find
Hours, days, and years, slide soft away
In health of body, peace of mind,

Quiet by day;

Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mixed, sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please,

With meditation.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone

Tell where I lic.

Alexander Pope (1688–1744)

“THRICE HAPPY HE”

THRICE happy he, who by some shady grove,
Far from the clamorous world, doth live his own;
Though solitary, who is not alone,
But doth converse with that eternal love.

O how more sweet is birds' harmonious moan,
Or the soft sobbings of the widowed dove,
Than those smooth whisperings near a prince's throne,
Which good make doubtful, do the evil approve!
Or how more sweet is Zephyr's wholesome breath,
And sighs perfumed which do the flowers unfold,
Than that applause vain honor doth bequeath!
How sweet are streams to poison drunk in gold!
The world is full of horrors, falsehoods, slights;
Woods' silent shades have only true delights.

William Drummond (1585–1649]

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UNDER the greenwood tree,
Who loves to lie with me,
And turn his merry note

Unto the sweet bird's throat,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:

Here shall he see

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Who doth ambition shun,
And loves to live i' the sun,
Seeking the food he eats,

And pleased with what he gets,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:

Here shall he see

No enemy

But winter and rough weather.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616]

CORIDON'S SONG

In “The Complete Angler

Oh, the sweet contentment
The countryman doth find.

High trolollie lollie loe,
High trolollie lee,

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The plowman, though he labor hard,
Yet on the holiday,

High trolollie lollie loe,

High trollolie lee,
No emperor so merrily
Does pass his time away:

To recompense our tillage
The heavens afford us showers;

High trolollie lollie loe,

High trolollie lee,
And for our sweet refreshments
The earth affords us bowers:

The cuckoo and the nightingale
Full merrily do sing,

High trolollie lollie loe,

High trolollie lee,
And with their pleasant roundelays
Bid welcome to the spring:
This is not half the happiness
The countryman enjoys;

High trolollie lollie loe,

High trolollie lee,
Though others think they have as much
Yet he that says so lies:

Then come away, turn
Countryman with me.

John Chalkhill (fl. 1648]

THE OLD SQUIRE I LIKE the hunting of the hare

Better than that of the fox;
I like the joyous morning air,

And the crowing of the cocks.
I like the calm of the early fields,

The ducks asleep by the lake,
The quiet hour which nature yields

Before mankind is awake.
I like the pheasants and feeding things

Of the unsuspicious morn;
I like the flap of the wood-pigeon's wings

As she rises from the corn.

I like the blackbird's shriek, and his rush

From the turnips as I pass by,
And the partridge hiding her head in a bush,

For her young ones cannot fly.
I like these things, and I like to ride,

When all the world is in bed,
To the top of the hill where the sky grows wide,

And where the sun grows red.

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