Oh happy shadesto me unblest!
Friendly to peace, but not to me!
How ill the scene that offers rest,
And heart that cannot rest, agree!
This glassy stream, that spreading pine,
Those alders quiv’ring to the breeze,
Might sooth a soul less hurt than mine,
And please, if any thing could please.
But fix’d unalterable care
Foregoes not what she feels within,
Shows the same sadness ev’rywhere,
And slights the season and the scene.
For all that pleas’d in wood or lawn,
While peace possess’d these silent bow’rs,
Her animating smile withdrawn,
Has lost its beauties and its pow’rs.
The saint or moralist should tread
This moss-grown alley, musing, slow;
They seek, like me, the secret shade,
But not, like me, to nourish woe!
Me fruitful scenes and prospects waste
Alike admonish not to roam;
These tell me of enjoyments past,
And those of sorrows yet to come.
— William Cowper, The Shrubbery