Written near Bath, 1755

Richard Graves

Each saucy cit who strolls from town
With scorn surveys my Gothic cell,'
Or wondering asks what sordid clown
In this drear solitude can dwell.

These mouldering walls, with ivy crowned,
That charm me with their solemn scene,
These flowers that bloom spontaneous round,
Provoke his mirth or raise his spleen.

Inured to smoke, throughout the year,
Yon verdant meads unmoved he sees,—
Those hills unsightly rocks appear,
Yon sacred groves mere heaps of trees.

The lucid fount that murmuring falls.
Then through my shrubs meandering steals.
An useful stream the insipid calls.
But no poetic rapture feels.

Hither from noisy crowds I fly;
Here dwells soft ease, and peace of mind;—
Yet think not Fancy's curious eye
To these deep solitudes confined.

Whene'er at morn or eve I rove,
Where yonder cliffs with pines are crowned,
More splendid scenes my rapture move;
How charmed I range the horizon round.

There Allen's stately columns rise,
And glittering from the circling wood,
"With constant beauty feed my eyes,
As he the poor with constant food.

Each pompous work, proud Bath! I share
That decks thy hills. Well pleased I see
Thy rising cirque eclipse thy square,
And Pitt and Stanhope build for me.

Here Bathurst rears the Gothic pile,
Here Riggs the roseate arbour twines;
There Seymour's groves serenely smile,
And Avon through the landskip shines.

Would I fair Eden's bloom restore!
Lo! Widcomb's cultivated vale,
Where Flora paints her slopes for Moore,
And all Arabia's sweets exhale.

Luxurious thus I freely rove.
Nor at the sons of wealth repine;
Mere tenant of each hill and grove,
Which sovereign Fancy renders mine.

Familiar grown by constant use,
The stateliest dome its master cloys,—
Then grant him but these transient views,
What you possess the bard enjoys.

Richard Graves was an Anglican clergyman and rector of Claverton, near Bath.