William Cowper

Nov 15, 1731 - Apr 25, 1800


The Shrubbery

by William Cowper

Written in a time of affliction.

Oh, happy shades -- to me unblest!
Friendly to peace, but not to me!
How ill the scene that offers rest,
And heart, that cannot rest, agree!

This glassy stream, that spreading pine,
Those alders quivering to the breeze,
Might soothe a soul less hurt than mine,
And please, if any thing could please.

But fix'd unalterable care
Foregoes not what she feels within,
Shows the same sadness every where,
And slights the season and the scene.

For all that pleased in wood or lawn,
While peace possess'd these silent bowers,
Her animating smile withdrawn,
Has lost its beauties and its powers.

The saint or moralist should tread
This moss-grown alley musing, slow;
They seek like me the secret shade,
But not like me to nourish woe!

Me fruitful scenes and prospects waste
Alike admonish not to roam;
These tell me of enjoyments past,
And those of sorrows yet to come.


The Poetical Works Of William Cowper, Volume 1
Copyright 1859
Little, Brown, And Company.
Shepard, Clark And Brown.
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