An Address of the STATUES at STOWE, to Lord COBHAM, on his Return to his Gardens.
1 FROM every Muse and every art thy own,
2 Thy bow'rs our theatres, thy mind our throne!
3 Hail! to thy virtues manumiz'd from state;
4 Hail! to thy leisure to be wisely great.
5 Fetter'd by duties and to forms enslav'd,
6 How timely have thy years a remnant sav'd!
7 To taste that freedom which thy sword maintain'd,
8 And lead in letter'd ease, a life unpain'd:
9 So Scipio (Carthage fall'n) resign'd his plume,
10 And smil'd at the forgetfulness of Rome.
11 O greatly bless'd! whose evening sweetest shines,
12 And, in unclouded slowness, calm declines!
13 While free reflection with reverted eye,
14 Wan'd from hot noon-tide and a troubled sky,
15 Divides life well: the largest part, long known
16 Thy country's claim; the last and best thy own.
17 Here while detach'd, thy self-supported soul
18 Resumes dominion and escapes controul;
19 Moves with a grandeur, monarchs wish in vain,
20 Above all fears, storms, dangers, hopes or pain;[Page 197]
21 A glance sometimes from thy safe summit show,
22 And see the dusty world look dim below:
23 Thro' the dark throng discern huge slaves of pride
24 Should'ring unheeded Happiness aside;
25 Thwarted and push'd and lab'ring into name,
26 And dignify'd with all the dirt of fame;
27 Then with a smile superior, turn away,
28 And lop th' exub'rance of some straggling spray;
29 Wind thro' thy mazes to serene delight,
30 And from the bursting bubbles shade thy sight.
31 Yet where thou shin'st, like heav'n behind a cloud,
32 Moving like light, all piercing, tho' not loud;
33 The Muse shall find thee in thy blest retreat,
34 And breathe this honest wish at Cobham's feet:
35 Fresh as thy lakes, may all thy pleasures flow!
36 And breezy like thy groves, thy passions blow!
37 Wide as thy fancy, be thy spreading praise!
38 And long and lovely as thy walks, thy days!