ABRAHAM COWLEY 1618-1667


Well then I I now do plainly see

This busy world and I shall ne' er agree.

The very honey of all earthly joy

Does of all meats the soonest cloy;

And they, methinks, deserve my pity

Who for it can endure the stings,

The crowd and buzz and murmurings,

Of this great hive, the city.


Ah, yet, ere I descend to th' grave

May I a small house and large garden have;

And a few friends, and many books, both true,

Both wise, and both delightful tool

And since love ne' er will from me flee,

A mistress moderately fair,

And good as guardian angels are,

Only beloved and loving me.


0 fountains! when in you shall I

Myself eased of unpeaceful thoughts espy?

O fields! O woods! when, when shall I be made

The happy tenant of your shade?

Here's the spring-head of Pleasure's flood:

Here's wealthy Nature's treasury,

Where all the riches lie that she

Has coin'd and stamp'd for good.

Pride and Ambition here

Only in far-fetch'd metaphors appear;

Here nought but winds can hurtful murmurs scatter,

And nought but Echo flatter.

The gods, when they descended, hither

From heaven did always choose their way:

And therefore we may boldly say

That 'tis the way, too, thither.


How happy here should I

And one dear She live, and embracing die!

She who is all the world, and can exclude

In deserts solitude.

I should have then this only fear:

Lest men, when they my pleasures see,

Should hither throng to live like me,

And so make a city here.