Just Heaven, thee like Tiresias to requite,His poems, written in the ‘snatched leisure’ of an active political life, bear marks of haste, and are very unequal. In the midst of passages of pastoral description worthy of Milton himself, feeble lines and hackneyed phrases occur. His Nymph lamenting the Death of her Fawn is a finished and elaborate piece, full of grace and tenderness. Thoughts in a Garden will be remembered by the quotations of that exquisite critic, Charles Lamb. How pleasant is this picture!
Rewards with prophecy thy loss of sight.
What wondrous life is this I lead!
Ripe apples drop about my head;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on melons as I pass,
Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.
Here at this fountain's sliding foot,
Or at the fruit-tree's mossy root,
Casting the body's vest aside,
My soul into the boughs does glide.
There like a bird it sits and sings,
And whets and claps its silver wings;
And, till prepared for longer flight,
Waves in its plumes the various light.
How well the skilful gard'ner drew
Of flowers and herbs this dial true!
Where, from above, the milder sun
Does through a fragrant zodiac run;
And, as it works, the industrious bee
Computes his time as well as we.
How could such sweet and wholesome hours
Be reckoned but with herbs and flowers