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The Old Squire


The beagles at my horse-heels trot

In silence after me;
There's Ruby, Roger, Diamond, Dot,

Old Slut and Margery, —

A score of names well used, and dear,

The names my childhood knew;
The horn with which I rouse their cheer,

Is the horn my father blew.

I like the hunting of the hare

Better than that of the fox; The new world still is all less fair

Than the old world it mocks.

I covet not a wider range

Than these dear manors give;
I take my pleasures without change,

And as I lived I live.

I leave my neighbors to their thought;

My choice it is, and pride,
On my own lands to find my sport,

In my own fields to ride.

The hare herself no better loves

The field where she was bred, Than I the habit of these groves,

My own inherited.

I know my quarries every one,

The meuse where she sits low; The road she chose to-day was run

A hundred years ago.

The lags, the gills, the forest ways,

The hedgerows one and all,
These are the kingdoms of my chase,

And bounded by my wall;


Nor has the world a better thing,

Though one should search it round, Than thus to live one's own sole king,

Upon one's own sole ground.

I like the hunting of the hare;

It brings me, day by day,
The memory of old days as fair,

With dead men passed away.

To these, as homeward still I ply

And pass the churchyard gate, Where all are laid as I must lie

I stop and raise my hat.

I like the hunting of the hare;

New sports I hold in scorn.
I like to be as my fathers were,
In the days ere I was born.

Wilfred Scawen Blunt (1840–


BENEATH this stony roof reclined,
I soothe to peace my pensive mind;
And while, to shade my lowly cave,
Embowering elms their umbrage wave;
And while the maple dish is mine
The beechen cup, unstained with wine-
I scorn the gay licentious crowd,
Nor heed the toys that deck the proud.

Within my limits, lone and still,
The blackbird pipes in artless trill;
Fast by my couch, congenial guest,
The wren has wove her mossy nest;
From busy scenes and brighter skies,
To lurk with innocence, she flies,
Here hopes in safe repose to dwell,
Nor aught suspects the sylvan cell.

The Retirement


At morn I take my customed round,
To mark how buds yon shrubby mound,
And every opening primrose count,
That trimly paints my blooming mount;
Or o'er the sculptures, quaint and rude,
That grace my gloomy solitude,
I teach in winding wreaths to stray
Fantastic ivy's gadding spray.

At eve, within yon studious nook,
I ope my brass-embossèd book,
Portrayed with many a holy deed
Of martyrs, crowned with heavenly meed;
Then, as my taper waxes dim,
Chant, ere I sleep, my measured hymn,
And at the close, the gleams behold
Of parting wings, be-dropt with gold.

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While such pure joys my bliss create,
Who but would smile at guilty state?
Who but would wish his holy lot
In calm oblivion's humble grot?
Who but would cast his pomp away,
To take my staff, and amice gray;
And to the world's tumultuous stage
Prefer the blameless hermitage?

Thomas Warton (1728-1790]


FAREWELL, thou busy world, and may

We never meet again;
Here I can eat and sleep and pray,
And do more good in one short day

Than he who his whole age outwears
Upon the most conspicuous theaters,
Where naught but vanity and vice appears.

Good God! how sweet are all things here!
How beautiful the fields appear!

How cleanly do we feed and lie! Lord! what good hours do we keep! How quietly we sleep!

What peace, what unanimity! How innocent from the lewd fashion Is all our business, all our recreation!

O, how happy here's our leisure!
O, how innocent our pleasure!
O ye valleys! O ye mountains!
Oye groves, and crystal fountains!
How I love, at liberty,
By turns to come and visit ye!
Dear solitude, the soul's best friend,
That man acquainted with himself dost make,
And all his Maker's wonders to attend,

With thee I here converse at will,

And would be glad to do so still, For it is thou alone that keep'st the soul awake.

How calm and quiet a delight

Is it, alone,
To read and meditate and write,

By none offended, and offending none!
To walk, ride, sit, or sleep at one's own ease;
And, pleasing a man's self, none other to displease.

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O my beloved nymph, fair Dove,
Princess of rivers, how I love

Upon thy flowery banks to lie,
And view thy silver stream,
When gilded by a Summer's beam!

And in it all thy wanton fry

Playing at liberty,
And, with my angle, upon them

The all of treachery
I ever learned industriously to try!

Such streams Rome's yellow Tiber cannot show,
The Iberian Tagus, or Ligurian Po;

The Retirement


The Maese, the Danube, and the Rhine,
Are puddle-water, all, compared with thine;
And Loire's pure streams yet too polluted are
With thine, much purer, to compare;
The rapid Garonne and the winding Seine
Are both too mean,

Beloved Dove, with thee

To vie priority;
Nay, Tame and Isis, when conjoined, submit,
And lay their trophies at thy silver feet.

O my beloved rocks, that rise
To awe the earth and brave the skies!
From some aspiring mountain's crown

How dearly do I love,
Giddy with pleasure to look down;

And from the vales to view the noble heights above;
O my beloved caves! from dog-star's heat,
And all anxieties, ny safe retreat;
What safety, privacy, what true delight,
In the artificial light

Your gloomy entrails make,

Have I taken, do I take!
How oft, when grief has made me fly,
To hide me from society
E'en of my dearest friends, have I,

In your recesses' friendly shade,

All my sorrows open laid,
And my most secret woes intrusted to your privacy!

Lord! would men let me alone,
What an over-happy one

Should I think myself to be-
Might I in this desert place,
(Which most men in discourse disgrace)

Live but undisturbed and free! Here, in this despised recess,

Would I, maugre Winter's cold, And the Summer's worst excess,

Try to live out to sixty full years old;

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