In yonder modest cot with ivy bound,
Full many a pleasing theme has friendship found,
Around the pictur’d rooms the eye regales
On mimic mountains and on painted vales.
On these, the barren suns appear to glow,
On those, to ripen fruitful fields below;
Kings, queens, & princes, deck the storied walls
Here floats a wreck, and there a ruin falls,
And though stern winter chills the earth, we see
Frost brings his spangled pictures on each tree;
Fantastic forms, amusing to the view,
Chaste as the chisel, as the pencil true.
Some airy frolic, or some quaint device,
Lovers in frost work; buxom dames in ice
Hoar monks congealing on the bending bough
And hooded nuns all freezing in their vow.
And damsels petrified! as frail! as fair!
Their virgin whiteness form’d alas! of air,
Of fleeting air, for Sol’s first am’rous ray
Full soon shall melt the yielding maids away
A second beam more warm shall instant draw
The crystal convent to a general thaw.
These charms without, within each guest can tell
That love and friendship in this cottage dwell
That hospitality in smiles is there
The friend to welcome and the feast prepare.
And would you see what rarely cots bestow
And palaces more rare this cot can shew;
Three objects yet th’ attentive guests invite
To give the friendly heart more full delight,
Three happy portraits drawn from real life
And two of them O strange! a man and wife,
The third, a child, of both the darling bliss
And their sole strife — is for their infant’s kiss.
And whoso’er disputes their happy lot
Need only make a visit to the cot
But would the cottagers these portraits see
Their faithful mirror will reflect the three.
S. G —