I NOW, O FRIEND, WHOM NOISELESSLY THE SNOWS
I now, O friend, whom noiselessly the snows
Settle around, and whose small chamber grows
Dusk as the sloping window takes its load:
* * * * *
The kindly hill, as to complete our hap,
Has ta'en us in the shelter of her lap;
Well sheltered in our slender grove of trees
And ring of walls, we sit between her knees;
A disused quarry, paved with rose plots, hung
With clematis, the barren womb whence sprung
The crow-stepped house itself, that now far seen
Stands, like a bather, to the neck in green.
A disused quarry, furnished with a seat
Sacred to pipes and meditation meet
For such a sunny and retired nook.
There in the clear, warm mornings many a book
Has vied with the fair prospect of the hills
That, vale on vale, rough brae on brae, upfills
Halfway to the zenith all the vacant sky
To keep my loose attention....
Horace has sat with me whole mornings through:
And Montaigne gossiped, fairly false and true;
And chattering Pepys, and a few beside