1 WHILE you, my dear girls, in your paradise stray,
2 Diverting with innocent freedom the day,
3 I wander alone in a barbarous land,
4 Half bak'd by the sun, half blind by the sand.[Page 173]
5 Then your wood too and grotto so swim in my sight,
6 They give me no respite by day nor by night;
7 No sooner asleep but I'm dreaming of you;
8 I am just wak'd from one, — wou'd to God it were true.
9 Methought I was now a fine gentleman grown,
10 And had got, Lord knows how, an estate of my own.
11 Good-bye to plain Tom, I was rais'd a peg higher;
12 Some call'd me his worship, and others the squire.
13 'Twas a place, I remember, exactly like Easton,
14 A scene for an emperor's fancy to feast on.
15 There I built a fine house with great cost and great care,
16 (Your la'ships have form'd many such in the air)
17 Not of stucco, nor brick, but as good Portland stone
18 As Kent wou'd desire to be working upon.
19 The apartments not small, nor monstrously great,
20 But chiefly for use, and a little for state;
21 So begilt, and becarv'd, and with ornaments grac'd,
22 That ev'ry one said, I'd an excellent taste.
23 Here I liv'd like a king, never hoarded my pelf,
24 Kept a coach for my sisters, a nag for myself,
25 With something that's good when our Highclear friends come,
26 And, spite of 'squire Herbert, a fire in each room.
27 A canal made for profit as well as for pleasure,
28 That's about, let me see, two acres in measure;
29 Both the eye to delight, and the table to crown
30 With a jack, or a perch, when my uncles come down.
31 An exceeding great wood, that's been set a great while,
32 In length near a league, and in breadth near a mile.[Page 174]
33 There ev'ry dear girl her bright genius displays,
34 In a thousand fine whimsies a thousand fine ways.
35 O how charming the walks to my fancy appear!
36 What a number of temples and grottos are here!
37 My soul was transported to such an extreme,
38 That I leap'd up in raptures, — when lo! 'twas a dream;
39 Then vexing I chid the impertinent day
40 For driving so sweet a delusion away.
41 Thus spectres arise, as by nurse-maids we're told,
42 And hie to the place where they buried their gold:
43 There hov'ring around until morning remain;
44 Then sadly return to their torments again.