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Poem by Abraham Cowley


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
Thy 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 coin'd and stamp'd for good.

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

Hoe happy here should I
And one dear She live, and embracing die!
She who is all the world, and can exclude
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. 



Abraham Cowley


Abraham Cowley's other poems:
  1. An Answer To A Copy Of Verses Sent Me To Jersey
  2. On The Death Of Sir Henry Wootton
  3. The Given Love
  4. Constantia's Song
  5. The Parting


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Mary Chudleigh The Wish ("Would but indulgent Fortune send")

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