One of his longer poems, Appleton House, contains passages of admirable description, and many not unpleasing conceits. Witness the following:
Thus I, an easy philosopher,Here is a picture of a piscatorial idler and his trout stream, worthy of the pencil of Izaak Walton:—
Among the birds and trees confer,
And little now to make me wants,
Or of the fowl or of the plants.
Give me but wings, as they, and I
Straight floating on the air shall fly;
Or turn me but, and you shall see
I am but an inverted tree.
Already I begin to call
In their most learned original;
And, where I language want, my signs
The bird upon the bough divines.
No leaf does tremble in the wind,
Which I returning cannot find.
Out of these scattered Sibyl's leaves,
Strange prophecies my fancy weaves:
What Rome, Greece, Palestine, e'er said,
I in this light Mosaic read.
Under this antic cope I move,
Like some great prelate of the grove;
Then, languishing at ease, I toss
On pallets thick with velvet moss;
While the wind, cooling through the boughs,
Flatters with air my panting brows.
Thanks for my rest, ye mossy banks!
And unto you, cool zephyrs, thanks!
Who, as my hair, my thoughts too shed,
And winnow from the chaff my head.
How safe, methinks, and strong behind
These trees have I encamped my mind!
See in what wanton harmless folds
It everywhere the meadow holds:
Where all things gaze themselves, and doubt
If they be in it or without;