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Poem by Robert Anderson
Near a murmuring rill, in a cottage of thatch, From the haunts of the great I'd reside, Where the giant Ambition should ne'er lift my latch, Nor my garden or grove strike the eye of gay Pride. Undisturb'd by the riot or noise of the town, In Retirement my moments I'd spend, Alike to pert Folly and Slander unknown; The rich I'd not envy, give me but a friend, Whose converse, still pleasing, and counsels sincere, From my bosom would banish dull Care; Who, if Grief e'er assail'd me, would drop the soft tear, And, if Poverty frown'd, still his all I might share. If Memory glanc'd at the follies of youth, When Pleasure my feet did betray, Calm Reflection would teach me the lesson of truth, And warn to look forward to life's closing day. With joy would I welcome the verdure of spring, When gazing at eve o'er the plain; Or join with my Emma the heart--cheering ring, Far, far from keen Slander and all her dull train. In summer, awak'd by the heralds of morn, From care--killing revels still free, We'd taste the pure breeze on the hill or the lawn, Where Health, blooming Health, holds her sportive levee. Oft at noon--tide, evading the sun's fervid glow, We'd hie to Seclusion's cool bow'r, And weep o'er her verse, forc'd by Sorrow to flow; Or, musing with Cowper, from Care steal an hour. Tho' few mark the wants of the helpless and poor, Whom the cold hand of Misery deforms; Tho' few heed the pangs they are doom'd to endure, Or shield the weak wand'rers from Want's bitter storms; Should the child of Misfortune ask alms at my gate, I'd turn not in scorn from his woe, But attentively hear him his suff'rings relate, While my Emma her bounty should freely bestow. Thus a friend to mankind would I journey thro' life, Nor at Fate's various trials repine; But contended, and free from Ambition and Strife, At Death's awful summons I'd cheerful resign.
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