The Wish

    Well then; I now do plainly see,
This busy world and I shall ne'er agree;
The very honey of all earthly joy
    Does of all meats the soonest cloy;
    And they, methinks, deserve my pity
Who for it can endure the stings,
The crowd, and buzz, and murmurings
    Of this great hive, the city.

    Ah, yet, ere I descend to the grave
May I a small house and large garden have!
And a few friends, and many books, both true,
    Both wise and both delightful too!
    And since love ne'er will from me flee,
A mistress moderately fair,
And good as guardian angels are,
    Only beloved, and loving me!

    O fountains, when in you shall I
Myself, eased of unpeaceful thoughts, espy?
O fields! O woods! when, when shall I be made
    The happy tenant of your shade?
    Here's the spring-head of pleasure's flood,
Here's wealthy Nature's treasury,
Where all the riches lie that she
    Has coined and stamped for good.

    Pride and ambition here
Only in farfetched metaphors appear;
Here naught but winds can hurtful murmurs scatter,
    And naught but Echo flatter.
    The gods, when they descend, hither
From heaven did always choose their way;
And therefore we may boldly say
    That 'tis the way, too, thither.

    How happy here should I
And one dear she live and, embracing, die!
She who is all the world, and can exude
    In deserts, solitude.
    I should have then this only fear,
Lest men, when they my pleasures see,
Should hither throng to live like me,
    And so make a city here.