Thursday, September 13, 2012
From Of the Use of Riches
So, I wanted to share this poem with you all. I will be using a snippet in my Farming paper, but the entire poem is beautiful, and definitely appropriate for this particular blog. Enjoy!
At Timon's villa let us pass a day,
Where all cry out, 'What sums are thrown away!'
So proud, so grand, of that stupendous air,
Soft and agreeable come never there.
Greatness, with Timon, dwells in such a draught
As brings all Brobdingnag, before your thought,
To compass this, his building is a town,
His pond an ocean, his parterre a down:
Who but must laugh, the master when he sees?
A puny insect, shivering at a breeze.
Lo, what huge heaps of littleness around!
The whole, a laboured quarry above ground.
Two cupids squirt before: a lake behind
Improves the keenness of the northern wind.
His gardens next your admiration call,
On every side you look, behold the wall!
No pleasing intricacies intervene,
No artful wildness to perplex the scene;
Grove nods at grove, each alley has a brother,
And half the platform just reflects the other.
The grounds at The Royal Pavilion
The suffering eye inverted Nature sees,
Trees cut to statues, statues thick as trees,
With here a fountain, never to be played,
And there a summer-house, that knows no shade.
Here Amphitrite sails through myrtle bowers;
There gladiators fight, or die, in flowers;
Unwanted see the drooping sea-horse mourn,
And swallows roost in Nilus' dusty urn.
My Lord advances with majestic mien,
Smit with the mighty pleasure, to be seen:
But soft - by regular approach - not yet -
First through the length of yon hot terrace sweat,
And when up ten steep slopes you've dragged your thighs,
Just at his study-door he'll bless your eyes.
His study! with what authors is it stored?
In books, not authors, curious is my Lord;
To all their dated backs he turns you round:
Sir Walter Scott's library
These Aldus printed, those Du Sueil has bound.
Lo some are vellum, and the rest as good
For all his Lordship knows, but they are wood.
For Locke or Milton 'til in vain to look,
These shelves admit not any modern book.
And now the chapel's silver bell you hear,
That summons you to all the pride of prayer:
Light quirks of music, broken and uneven,
Make the soul dance upon a jig to Heaven.
On painted ceilings you devoutly stare,
Where sprawl the saints of Verrio or Laguerre,
Or gilded clouds in fair expansion lie,
And bring all Paradise before your eye.
To rest, the cushion and soft Dean invite,
Who never mentions Hell to ears polite.
A room by John Adam
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