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(CHARLES COTTON was born at Beresford, in Staffordshire, in 1630, and was educated at Cambridge. Having travelled for some time, he retired to his estate, which had been much embarrassed by his father, and there gave himself up to study and angling, from which he did not permit himself to be diverted. To improve his circumstances, he devoted much of his time to translations. When forty years of age, he obtained a captain's commission ; and he afterwards married the Countess Dowager of Ardglass, who had a jointure of £1,500 a year. But even this did not extricate him from his difficulties, as his wife's fortune was secured to her; and he died insolvent at Westminster, in 1687. Cotton was witty and accomplished ; he was an intimate friend of Izaak Walton.]

FAREWELL, thou busy world, and may

We never meet again;
Here I can eat, and sleep, and pray,
And do more good in one short day

Than he who his whole age outwears
Upon the most conspicuous theatres,
Where nought but vanity and vice appears.

Good God! how sweet are all things here !
How beautiful the fields appear!

How cleanly do we feed and lie !
Lord! what good hours do we keep !
How quietly we sleep!

What peace, what unanimity!
How innocent from the lewd fashion,
Is all our business, all our recreation !

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How I love, at liberty,
By turns to come and visit ye?

Dear Solitude, the soul's best friend,
That man acquainted with himself dost make,

And all his Maker's wonders to intend,

With thee I here converse at will,

And would be glad to do so still, For it is thou alone that keep'st the soul awake.

How calm and quiet a delight

Is it, alone,
To read, and meditate, and write,

By none offended, and offending none !
To walk, ride, sit, or sleep at one's own ease,
And, pleasing a man's self, none other to displease.

O my beloved nymph, fair Dove,
Princess of rivers, how I love

Upon thy flowery banks to lie,
And view thy silver stream,
When gilded by a summer's beam!
And in it all thy wanton fry,

Playing at liberty ;
And with my angle, upon them

The all of treachery

I ever learn'd, industriously to try! Such streams Rome's yellow Tiber cannot show;

The Iberian Tagus, or Ligurian Po,
The Maese, the Danube, and the Rhine,
Are puddle water all compared with thine !

And Loire's pure streams yet too polluted are
With thine much purer to compare ;
The rapid Garonne and the winding Seine

Are both too mean,
Beloved Dove, with thee

To vie priority;
Nay, Thame and Isis, when conjoin'd, submit,
And lay their trophies at thy silver feet.

() my beloved rocks, that rise
To awe the earth and brave the skies,
From some aspiring mountain's crown,

How dearly do I love,
Giddy with pleasure, to look down ;
And, from the vales, to view the noble heights above !

() my beloved caves ! from dog-star's heat,
And all anxieties, my safe retreat ;
What safety, privacy, what true delight,

In the artificial night,
Your gloomy entrails make,

Have I taken, do I take!
How oft, when grief has made me fly,
To hide me from society,
Een of my dearest friends, have I,

In your recesses' friendly shade,

All my sorrows open laid, And my most secret woes intrusted to your privacy !

Lord! would men let me alone,
What an over-happy one

Should I think myself to be ;
Might I in this desert place
(Which most men in discourse disgrace)

Live but undisturbed and free!

Here, in this despised recess,

Would I, maugre winter's cold,
And the summer's worst excess,
Try to live out to sixty full years old ;
And, all the while,

Without an envious eye
On any thriving under Fortune's smile,
Contented live, and then contented die.


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