Hail, the poor Muses' richest manor seat! Ye country houses and retreat Which all the happy gods so love, That for you oft they quit their bright and great Metropolis above.
Here Nature does a house for me erect, Nature the wisest architect, Who those fond artists does despise That can the fair and living trees neglect, Yet the dead timber prize.
Here let me, careless and unthoughtful lying, Hear the soft winds, above me flying, With all their wanton boughs dispute, And the more tuneful birds to both replying, Nor be myself too mute.
A silver stream shall roll his waters near, Gilt with the sunbeams here and there, On whose enamelled bank I'll walk, And see how prettily they smile, and hear How prettily they talk.
Ah wretched, and too solitary he Who loves not his own company! He'll feel the weight of't many a day, Unless he call in sin or vanity To help to bear't away.
Oh solitude, first state of human-kind! Which blest remained till man did find Even his own helper's company. As soon as two, alas, together joined, The serpent made up three.
Though God himself, through countless ages, thee His sole companion chose to be, Thee, sacred Solitude alone; Before the branchy head of numbers Three Sprang from the trunk of One.
Thou (though men think thine an unactive part) Dost break and tame th' unruly heart, Which else would know no settled pace, Making it move, well managed by thy art With swiftness and with grace.