Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
 
Extract from The Poet’s Complaint of His Muse
By Thomas Otway (1652–1685)
 
  TO a high hill where never yet stood tree,
    Where only heath, coarse fern, and furzes grow,
            Where, nipped by piercing air,
      The flocks in tattered fleeces hardly graze,
            Led by uncouth thoughts and care,        5
      Which did too much his pensive mind amaze,
    A wandering bard, whose Muse was crazy grown,
Cloyed with the nauseous follies of the buzzing town,
    Came, looked about him, sighed, and laid him down.
    ’Twas far from any path, but where the earth        10
    Was bare, and naked all as at her birth,
        When by the Word it first was made,
                    Ere God had said:—
    Let grass and herbs and every green thing grow,
With fruitful herbs after their kinds, and it was so.        15
    The whistling winds blew fiercely round his head;
        Cold was his lodging, hard his bed;
    Aloft his eyes on the wide heavens he cast,
    Where, we are told, peace only is found at last;
    And as he did its hopeless distance see,        20
    Sighed deep, and cried ‘How far is peace from me!’
 
 
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