Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Georgian Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Georgian Verse.  1909.
 
The Shrubbery
By William Cowper (1731–1800)
 
O 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,        5
  Those alders quivering to the breeze,
Might soothe a soul less hurt than mine,
  And please, if anything could please.
 
But fixed unalterable Care
  Foregoes not what she feels within,        10
Shows the same sadness everywhere,
  And slights the season and the scene.
 
For all that pleased in wood or lawn,
  While Peace possessed these silent bowers,
Her animating smile withdrawn,        15
  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!        20
 
Me fruitful scenes and prospects waste,
  Alike admonish not to roam;
These tell me of enjoyments past,
  And those of sorrows yet to come.
 
 
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