1 LET others boast their heaps of shining gold,
2 And view their fields with waving plenty crown'd,
3 Whom neighbouring foes in constant terror hold,
4 And trumpets break their slumbers never sound:
5 While calmly poor I trifle life away,
6 Enjoy sweet leisure by my chearful fire,
7 No wanton hope my quiet shall betray,
8 But cheaply blest I'll scorn each vain desire.
9 With timely care I'll sow my little field,
10 And plant my orchard with its master's hand,
11 Nor blush to spread the hay, the hook to wield,
12 Or range my sheaves along the sunny land.
13 If late at dusk, while carelessly I roam,
14 I meet a strolling kid, or bleating lamb,
15 Under my arm I'll bring the wanderer home,
16 And not a little chide its thoughtless dam.
17 What joy to hear the tempest howl in vain,
18 And clasp a fearful mistress to my breast?
19 Or lull'd to slumber by the beating rain,
20 Secure and happy sink at last to rest?
21 Or if the sun in flaming Leo ride,
22 By shady rivers indolently stray,
23 And with my Delia, walking side by side,
24 Hear how they murmur, as they glide away.
25 What joy to wind along the cool retreat,
26 To stop and gaze on Delia as I go?
27 To mingle sweet discourse with kisses sweet,
28 And teach my lovely scholar all I know?
29 Thus pleas'd at heart, and not with Fancy's dream,
30 In silent happiness I rest unknown;
31 Content with what I am, not what I seem,
32 I live for Delia, and myself alone.
33 Ah, foolish man! who thus of her possest,
34 Could float and wander with Ambition's wind,
35 And if his outward trappings spoke him blest,
36 Not heed the sickness of his conscious mind.
37 With her I scorn the idle breath of praise,
38 Nor trust to happiness that's not our own,
39 The smile of Fortune might suspicion raise,
40 But here I know that I am lov'd alone.
41 Stanhope, in wisdom as in wit divine,
42 May rise and plead Britannia's glorious cause,
43 With steady rein his eager wit confine,
44 While manly Sense the deep attention draws:
45 Let Stanhope speak his listening country's wrong,
46 My humble voice shall please one-partial maid;
47 For her alone I pen my tender song,
48 Securely sitting in his friendly shade.
49 Stanhope shall come, and grace his rural friend,
50 Delia shall wonder at her noble guest,
51 With blushing awe the riper fruit commend,
52 And for her husband's patron cull the best.
53 Hers be the care of all my little train,
54 While I with tender indolence am blest,
55 The favourite subject of her gentle reign,
56 By Love alone distinguish'd from the rest.
57 For her I'll yoke my oxen to the plough,
58 In gloomy forests tend my lonely flock,
59 For her a goat-herd climb the mountain's brow,
60 And sleep extended on the naked rock:
61 Ah! what avails to press the stately bed,
62 And far from her 'midst tasteless grandeur weep,
63 By marble fountains lay the pensive head,
64 And, while they murmur, strive in vain to sleep?
65 Delia alone can please, and never tire,
66 Exceed the paint of thought in true delight,
67 With her, enjoyment wakens new desire,
68 And equal rapture glows thro' every night:
69 Beauty and Worth alike in her contend
70 To charm the Fancy, and to fix the mind,
71 In her, my wife, my mistress, and my friend;
72 I taste the joys of sense and reason join'd.
73 On her I'll gaze, when other loves are o'er,
74 And dying press her with my clay-cold hand —
75 Thou weep'st already, as I were no more,
76 Nor can that gentle breast the thought withstand.
77 O when I die, my latest moments spare,
78 Nor let thy grief with sharper torments kill,
79 Wound not thy cheeks, nor hurt that flowing hair,
80 Tho' I am dead, my soul shall love thee still:
81 O quit the room, O quit the deathful bed,
82 Or thou wilt die, so tender is thy heart,
83 O leave me, Delia, e'er thou see me dead,
84 These weeping friends will do thy mournful part:
85 Let them, extended on the decent bier,
86 Convey the coarse in melancholy state,
87 Thro' all the village spread the tender tear,
88 While pitying maids our wonderous loves relate.
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): ELEGY III.
Author: James Hammond
Themes: retirement; love; happiness; contentment
References: DMI 22619
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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.