A Celebration of Women Writers

"Pastoral Stanzas." by Mary Darby Robinson (1758-1800)
From: Robinson, Mrs. M. Poems. London: J. Bell, 1791. pp. 167-168.

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[Page 167]


BY the side of a mountain, o'er-shadow'd with trees,
  With thick clusters of vine intermingled and wove;
I behold my thatch'd cottage, dear mansion of ease,
  The seat of contentment, of friendship, and love!

Each morn when I open the latch of my door,
  My heart throbs with rapture to hear the birds sing;
And at night, when the dance in the village is o'er,
  On my pillow I strew the fresh roses of spring.

When I hide in the forest from noon's scorching beam,
  While the torrent's deep murmurs re-echoing sound;
When the herds quit their pasture to quaff the clear stream,
  And the flocks in the vale lie extended around:

I muse, but my thoughts are contented and free,
  I regret not the splendours of riches and pride;
The delights of retirement are dearer to me
  Than the proudest appendage to greatness ally'd.

I sing, and my song is the carol of joy;
  My cheek glows with health, like the wild rose in bloom;
I dance; yet forget not tho' blithesome and gay,
  That I measure the footsteps which lead to the tomb.

[Page 168]

Contented to live–yet not fearful to die,
  With a conscience unspotted I pass thro' life's scene;
On the wings of delight every moment shall fly,
  And the end of my days be resign'd and serene.


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