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This may our judgment in the search direct ;
God the first garden made, and the first city, Cain.

O blessed shades! O gentle cool retreat

From all th' immoderate heat, In which the frantic world does burn and sweat ! This does the lion-star, ambition's rage ; This avarice, the dog-star's thirst assuage; Everywhere else their fatal power we see, They make and rule man's wretched destiny:

They neither set, nor disappear,

But tyrannize o'er all the year ;
Whilst we ne'er feel their fame or influence here.

The birds that dance from bough to bough,
And sing above in every tree,

Are not from fears and cares more free,
Than we, who lie, or sit or walk below,

And should by right be singers too.
What princes choir of music can excel

That, which within this shade does dwell ?
To which we nothing pay or give;
They, like all other poets live,

Without reward, or thanks for their obliging pains ;

'Tis well, if they become not prey :
The whistling winds add their less artful strains,
And a grave base the murmuring fountains play ;
Nature does all this harmony bestow,

But to our plants, art's music too,
The pipe, theorbo, and guitar we owe;
The lute itself, which once was green and mute,

When Orpheus strook th' inspired lute,

The trees danc'd round, and understood
By sympathy the voice of wood.

These are the spells, that to kind sleep invite,
And nothing does within resistance make,

Which yet we moderately take;

Who would not choose to be awake, While he's encompass'd round with such delight, To th' ear, the nose, the touch, the taste and sight? When Venus would her dear Ascanius keep 1 A prisoner in the downy bands of sleep, She od'rous herbs and flowers beneath him spread,

As the most soft and sweetest bed ; Not her own lap would more have charm’d his head.

i Virg. Æn., i. 695.

Who, that has reason, and his smell,
Would not among roses and jasmin dwell,

Rather than all his spirits choke
With exhalations of dirt and smoke ?

And all th' uncleanness, which does drown
In pestilential clouds a populous town?
The earth itself breathes better perfumes here,
Than all the female men or women, there,
Not without cause, about them bear.

VI

When Epicurus to the world had taught,

That pleasure was the chiefest good, (And was, perhaps, i'th' right, if rightly understood)

His life he to his doctrine brought, And in a garden's shade that sovereign pleasure sought : Whoever a true epicure would be, May there find cheap and virtuous luxury. Vitellius his table, which did hold As many creatures, as the ark of old ; That fiscal table, to which every day All countries did a constant tribute pay,

was, perhaps, i' th' right] The author had seen Gassendi's fine work on this subject,

1

Could nothing more delicious afford,

Than nature's liberality,
Help'd with a little art and industry,
Allows the meanest gard’ner's board.
The wanton taste no fish or fowl can choose,
For which the grape or melon she would lose ;
Though all th' inhabitants of sea and air
Be listed in the glutton's bill of fare,

Yet still the fruits of earth we see
Plac'd the third story 1 high in all her luxury.

VII

2

But with no sense the garden does comply,
None courts, or flatters, as it does the eye:
When the great Hebrew king did almost strain
The wond'rous treasures of his wealth and brain,
His royal southern guest to entertain ;

Though she on silver floors did tread,
With bright Assyrian carpets on them spread,

To hide the metal's poverty. 1 Plac'd the third story] i. e, in the desert, which stands as the third story in the fabric of modern luxury.

2 But with no sense the garden does comply,

None courts, or flatters, as it does the eye] A little obscurely expressed. The meaning is—The garden gratifies no sense, it courts and Aatters none, so much as it does the eye, 1 Matth. vi. 29.

Though she look'd up to roofs of gold,
And nought around her could behold,

But silk and rich embroidery,

And Babylonian tapestry,

And wealthy Hiram's princely dye : Though Ophir's starry stones met everywhere her eye; Though she herself, and her gay host were drest With all the shining glories of the East; When lavish art her costly work had done,

The honour and the prize of bravery Was by the garden from the palace won ; And

every rose and lily there did stand

Better attir'd by nature's hand : 1 The case thus judg'd against the king we see, By one, that would not be so rich, though wiser far

than he.

VIII

Nor does this happy place only dispense

Such various pleasures to the sense ;

Here health itself does live, That salt of life, which does to all a relish give, Its standing pleasure, and intrinsic wealth, The body's virtue, and the soul's good fortune, health.

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