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We pierce the counterfeit delight,
Fatigued with splendour's irksome beams.
Of native groves, and wonted streams,
Pants for the scenes that charm'd her youthful eyes, Where truth maintains her court, and banishes disguise.
Then hither oft, ye senators, retire,
With nature here high converse hold; For who like STAMFORD her delights admire, Like STAMFORD shall with scorn behold Th' unequal bribes of pageantry and gold; Beneath the British oak's majestic shade, Shall see fair truth, immortal maid, Friendship in artless guise array'd,
Honour, and moral beauty shine
With more attractive charms, with radiance more divine.
Yes, here alone did highest heav'n ordain
The lasting magazine of charms,
Whatever wins, whatever warms,
The great, the various, and the fair,
Her impulse nothing may restrain-
'Midst all the city's artful trim,
From rooms of silken foliage vain,
To trace the dun far distant grove,
The wood-lark mourns her absent love,
Borne to the dusty town from native air, To mimic rural life, and sooth some vapour'd fair?
But how must faithless art prevail,
For that rich luxury of thought they love!
Ah no, from these the public sphere requires Example for its giddy bands;
From these impartial heav'n demands To spread the flame itself inspires,
To sift opinion's mingled mass,
Impress a nation's taste, and bid the sterling pass.
Happy, thrice happy they,
Whose graceful deeds have exemplary shone
With mild effective beams!
By solemn grot, or shady spring,
To join their pleasing dreams!
What tho' nor fabled dryad haunt their grove,
Yet all embody'd to the mental sight,
Shall there the wise retreat allow,
Shall twine triumphant palms to deck the wanderer's brow.
And though by faithless friends alarm'd,
In whom their gifts united shine,
No longer shall their counsels jar.
"Tis hers to meditate the peace;
Near PERCY-lodge, with awe-struck mien,
Nature exalt the mound where art shall build;
Art shape the gay alcove, while nature paints the field.
Begin, ye songsters of the grove !
Let no harsh dissonance disturb the morn,
The lowly shepherd's votive strain,
Who tunes his reed amidst his rural cheer, Fearful, yet not averse, that SOMERSET should hear.
YB beauteous nymphs, and jovial swains,
Who deck'd with youthful bloom,
In gay assemblage meet to grace
Mark how the wintry clouds hang o'er
The painted meads and flow'ry lawns
Save where beneath the lonely shed,
Or desolated thorn,
The red-breast heaves his ruffled plumes,
Yet shall the sun's reviving ray
The painted meads resume their pride,
But not to you shall e'er return
When once, alas! his churlish blast
Shall your bright spring subdue,