Friday, October 08, 2010


Enchanting Nature

William Cowper, The Task, III, 721-740:
Nature, enchanting Nature, in whose form
And lineaments divine I trace a hand
That errs not, and find raptures still renewed,
Is free to all men—universal prize.

Strange that so fair a creature should yet want
Admirers, and be destined to divide
With meaner objects even the few she finds.
Stripped of her ornaments, her leaves, and flowers,
She loses all her influence. Cities then
Attract us, and neglected Nature pines,
Abandoned, as unworthy of our love.

But are not wholesome airs, though unperfumed
By roses, and clear suns, though scarcely felt,
And groves, if unharmonious, yet secure
From clamour, and whose very silence charms,
To be preferred to smoke, to the eclipse
That metropolitan volcanoes make,
Whose Stygian throats breathe darkness all day long,
And to the stir of Commerce, driving slow,
And thundering loud, with his ten thousand wheels?
Samuel Palmer, Scene from Lee, North Devon

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