Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Prayer to Rhea

Matthew Prior, Written at Paris, 1700, In the Beginning of Robe's Geography:
Of all that William Rules, or Robe
Described, Great Rhea, of Thy Globe;
When or on Post-Horse, or in Chaise,
With much Expence, and little Ease,
My destin'd Miles I shall have gone,
By Thames or Maese, by Po or Rhone,
And found no Foot of Earth my own;
Great Mother, let Me Once be able
To have a Garden, House, and Stable;
That I may Read, and Ride, and Plant,
Superior to Desire, or Want;
And as Health fails, and Years increase,
Sit down, and think, and die in Peace.
Oblige Thy Fav'rite Undertakers
To throw Me in but Twenty Acres:
This Number sure They may allow;
For Pasture Ten, and Ten for Plow:
'Tis all that I wou'd Wish, or Hope,
For Me, and John, and Nell, and Crop.

Then, as Thou wil't, dispose the rest
(And let not Fortune spoil the Jest)
To Those, who at the Market-Rate
Can barter Honour for Estate.

Now if Thou grant'st Me my Request,
To make Thy Vot'ry truly blest,
Let curst Revenge, and sawcy Pride
To some bleak Rock far off be ty'd;
Nor e'er approach my Rural Seat,
To tempt Me to be Base, and Great.

And, Goddess, This kind Office done,
Charge Venus to command her Son,
(Where-ever else She lets Him rove)
To shun my House, and Field, and Grove:
Peace cannot dwell with Hate or Love.

Hear, gracious Rhea, what I say:
And Thy Petitioner shall Pray.
George Hetzel, Farm

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