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The Retreat.

1 Adieu to all the splendid Gallantry,
2 Complaisant Pleasures, modish Gaiety;
3 Airy Delights, imaginary Joys,
4 Fashions, Entertainments, Wit and Noise;
5 To all the Follies of my former State,
6 All that's Genteel, or Popular, or Great.
7 I'll move no longer in this gaudy Sphear,
8 I've been gaz'd at enough, 'tis time to disappear.
9 Without Concern, I'll leave the glittering Seat;
10 No, not the softest Sigh shall sound retreat,
11 Lest Fate should over-hear, mistrust my Flight,
12 Pursue me now, and so undo me quite.
13 In these soft Shades, I no Misfortune fear,
14 For she will never think to find me here;
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15 My Joys, shall be by her no more betray'd,
16 I'll cheat her now, in this kind Masquerade;
17 While she in Noise and Crowds doth search for me
18 I'll lie serene in safe Obscurity.
19 A silent Village doth more Pleasures yield,
20 Or harmless Sports of the delightful Field;
21 Then all the pageant Glories of a Throne,
22 Luxurious Pleasures of the wanton Town.
23 Here is the Copy of lost Paradice,
24 The pure and spotless Quintessence of Bliss:
25 All the safe Pastimes Mankind can enjoy,
26 Which Innocence delight, but not destroy:
27 Here I am blest in these secure Abodes,
28 As once in Shades were the retiring Gods:
29 These silvan Joys know no surprizing Strife,
30 This is to live, whilst others spend a Life:
31 Here is the Summum Bonum of the Earth,
32 Here the renowned Poets had their Birth;
33 Or hither, from the noisy World retir'd,
34 Here their great Souls, with noble Raptures fir'd.
35 Philosophers of old, in Solitude,
36 Their own resisting Passions first subdu'd;
37 Then with good Precepts civiliz'd the Rude:
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38 They knew a Court or City would molest
39 The calm Conceptions of a studious Breast.
40 Here the Mautuan Swain gain'd all his Bays
41 To Solitude his unmatch'd Pen doth raise,
42 Disserved Trophies of immortal Praise.
43 How many Monarchs weary of their State,
44 Have quit their Glories for a mean retreat;
45 Thought silent Shades far happier than Thrones,
46 That Garlands sat much easier than Crowns.
47 Then why's the wond'ring World amaz'd at me,
48 For leaving Fraud and Infidelity?
49 The poor mistaken World who places Joys
50 In splendid Popularity and Noise,
51 When after all it's Search it must conclude,
52 'Tis in a Friend, and well-chose Solitude.

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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): The Retreat.
Themes: retirement
Genres: heroic couplet

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Source edition

Poems on Several Occasions, Together with a Pastoral. By Mrs. S. F. London: printed, and are to be sold by J. Nutt, near Stationers-Hall, 1703, pp. 31-33. [20],117,[3],15,[1]p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T125148)

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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.

Other works by Sarah Fyge Egerton