Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Rural Seat

A Rural Seat

Nahum Tate (1652-1715), The Choice:

Grant me, indulgent Heaven, a rural seat,
Rather contemptible than great;
Where, though I taste life's sweets, still I may be
Athirst for immortality.
I would have business, but exempt from strife;
A private, but an active, life;
A conscience bold, and punctual to his charge;
My stock of health, or patience, large.
Some books I'd have, and some acquaintance too,
But very good, and very few.
Then (if one mortal two such grants may crave)
From silent life I'd steal into my grave.

Thanks to Laudator Temporis Acti, a blog I've read a number of times before but am only now adding to the blogroll. So this post isn't wholly derivative, here's a complementary piece I came across all by my lonesome in a real live book, by Alexander Pope:

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.

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 unconcern'dly 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 mixt; 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 lie.

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