Love of the Country: Written at Clare-Hall, Herts. June 1804


Welcome silence! welcome peace!
O most welcome, holy shade!
Thus I prove as years increase,
My heart and soul for quiet made.
Thus I fix my firm belief 5
While rapture’s gushing tears descend;
That every flower and every leaf
Is moral Truth’s unerring friend.
I would not for a world of gold
That Nature’s lovely face should tire;10
Fountain of blessings yet untold;
Pure source of intellectual fire!
Fancy’s fair buds, the germs of song,
Unquicken’d midst the world’s rude strife,
Shall sweet retirement render strong,15
And morning silence bring to life.
Then tell me not that I shall grow
Forlorn, that fields and woods will cloy;
From Nature and her changes flow
An everlasting tide of joy.20
I grant that summer heats will burn,
That keen will come the frosty night;
But both shall please: and each in turn
Yield Reason’s most supreme delight.
Build me a shrine, and I could kneel25
To Rural Gods, or prostrate fall;
Did I not see, did I not feel,
That one Great Spirit governs all.
O heav’n permit that I may lie
Where o’er my corse green branches wave;30
And those who from life’s tumult fly
With kindred feelings press my grave.