Court of Hill


T HE road's access to Court of Hill
A horse could throw, a man could spill;
But where 's the mind that courts romance,
And blames a road that loves to dance?
The scene is loveliness itself,
And there all fears are on the shelf:
The hills, though verging on grotesque,
Are balanc'd by the picturesque;
The hop, the orchards, and the corn,
With smiling fruits the soil adorn;
And rosy health upon the cheek
A tale of eloquence can speak.
Where Nash emerges on the right,
Enchanting Malvern crowns the sight,
And little Coreley's humble spire
Calls on the Painter to admire.
At the Court's gate four pillar towers
Look bluff, and say, " This place is ours; "
But the self-open'd careless gate
Seems quite averse to feudal state;
The pond was flapp'd with lazy weeds,
And man by force a lesson reads.
But soon the robe of saffron hue
Will spread its glow upon the view:
Attention, parent of the rhyme,
Was taken prisoner to a lime;
Around whose trunk a bench was plac'd,
At Lowe's expence, with Yorick's taste.
There often has that Critic mus'd,
Laugh'd at the Judge, and rhymes accus'd.
The pigeon-house, though half afraid,
Was crested with a colonnade;
A weather-cock, of streaming flame,
The maker's art consigns to fame;
Around this temple of the doves
A luscious plumb untasted roves;
The fir in clumps (no painter's arts)
Divides the landscape into parts;
The ash or elm, in spreading groups,
Like proud battalions, form their troops;
The rails, meandering in festoons,
Are just like hotes that musick tunes;
A single guinea-fowl appear'd,
And shriek'd as if it would be heard;
The casement windows unrefin'd
Brought Charles the Second into mind.
The date in stone confirms the tale,
And keeps in awe the subject vale;
The arms are Powys kissing Hill ,
The man and wife coquetting still.
Grass newly shorn, with brightest green,
Diffus'd its lustre through the scene;
For horse as well as man prepar'd,
No inch of stabling has been spar'd;
The roads, well made for overturning,
Gave hints of night-caps, not returning;
As in a Giant's chair the Muse
A distant world of beauty views,
Expanded and improving still
In prospects from the lime-burnt hill.
There Ludlow as a pigmy seems,
And, like its Masque , a world of dreams;
But here the Nine descending sail
Transported into Ludlow's vale:
The Sun on Beauty's lap had shone,
'Twas Beauty with its fig-leaf on.
The peasants' mounted girls I meet,
With many a Talus at their feet:
We Bards have dreams that never fail us —
I dreamt of Una kissing Talus .
At Henley we had flaring red,
On bricks in gay disorder spread;
And prov'd that, by the help of genius,
Deformities become ingenious.
But what a contrast in the fields,
Where Nature's hand her sceptre wields!
Yet what is Nature's state or wealth,
If Squires can die for want of health?
But now to Ludlow we are come,
'Tis Beauty's aggregated sum:
We thought of Nelly in her fit;
I dreamt of Heaven, and this is it .
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