In The Beginning Of Robe's Geography. Written At Paris, 1700.

A poem by Matthew Prior

Of all that William rules, or robe
Describes, great Rhea, of thy globe,
When or on posthorse or in chaise,
With much expense 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 favourite undertakers
To throw me in but twenty acres;
This number sure they may allow,
For pasture ten, and ten for plough;
'Tis all that I would wish or hope,
For me, and John, and Nell, and Crop.

Then as thou wilt 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 bless'd,
Let curs'd revenge and saucy pride
To some bleak rock far off be tied,
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
(Wherever 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.

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