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92

CXIX

RETIREMENT

Fresh fields and woods! the Earth's fair face!

GOD's footstool! and man's dwelling-place!

I ask not why the first believer125125Abraham

Did love to be a country liver?

Who to secure pious content

Did pitch by groves and wells his tent;

Where he might view his boundless sky,

And all those glorious lights on high:

With flying meteors, mists, and showers:

Subjected hills, trees, meads, and flowers:

And every minute bless the King

And wise Creator of each thing.

I ask not why he did remove

To happy Mamre's holy grove,

Leaving the cities of the plain

To Lot and his successless train?

All various lusts in cities still

Are found; they are the thrones of ill;

The dismal sinks, where blood is spill'd,

Cages with much uncleanness fill'd:

But rural shades are the sweet sense126126May probably be fence

Of piety and innocence;

They are the meek's calm region, where

Angels descend, and rule the sphere;

Where Heaven lies leiguer127127leiguer, (for lieger), at rest; or (by Confusion with leaguer), encamped, and the Dove

Duly as dew comes from above.

If Eden be on Earth at all,

'Tis that which we the country call.


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