In some lone hamlet it were better far
To live unknown amid Contentment's isle,
Than court the bauble of an air-blown star,
Or barter honour for a prince's smile!
Hail! tranquil-brow'd Content, forth sylvan god,
Who lov'st to sit beside some cottage fire,
Where the brown presence of the blazing clod
Regales the aspect of the aged sire.
There, when the Winter's children, bleak and cold,
Are through December's gloomy regions led;
The church-yard tale of sheeted ghost is told,
While fix'd attention dares not turn its head.
Or if the tale of ghost, or pigmy sprite,
Is stripp'd by theme more cheerful of its power,
The song employs the early dim of night,
Till village-curfew counts a later hour.
And oft the welcome neighbour loves to stop,
To tell the market news, to laugh, and sing,
O'er the loved circling jug, whose old brown top
Is wet with kisses from the florid ring!
There, whilst the cricket chirps its chimney song,
Within some crumbling chink, with moss embrown'd,
The lighted stick diverts the infant throng,
And fans are waved, and ribbands twirl'd around.
Entwine for me the wreath of rural mirth,
And blast the murm'ring fiend, from chaos sent;
Then, while the house-dog snores upon the hearth,
I'll sit, and hail thy sacred name, CONTENT!