This section is from the book "The Botanical Magazine; Or, Flower-Garden Displayed", by William Curtis. Also available from Amazon: The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed, Volume I.
"A Garden is the purest of human Pleasures."
"The spleen is seldom felt where Flora reigns;
The low'ring eye, the petulance, the frown,
And sullen sadness, that o'ershade, distort,
And mar the face of beauty, when no cause
For such immeasurable woe appears;
These Flora banishes, and gives the fair
Sweet smiles and bloom, less transient than her own."
Observe the rising Lily's snowy grace,
Observe the various vegetable race;
They neither toil nor spin, but careless grow,
Yet see how warm they blush! how bright they glow!
What regal vestments can with them compare!
What king so shining, or what queen so fair.
- ; - ;"the garden yields
A soft amusement, an humane delight.
To raise th' insipid nature of the ground,
Or tame its savage genius to the grace
Of careless sweet rusticity, that seems
The amiable result of happy chance,
Is to create, and give a god-like joy,
Which ev'ry year improves."
- - - - - - - "nor thou disdain
To check the lawless riot of the trees,
To plant the grove, or turn the barren mould
Oh happy he, whom, when his years decline,
(His fortune and his fame by worthy means
Attain'd, and equal to his mod'rate mind;
His life approv'd by all the wise and good,
Even envy'd by the vain) the peaceful groves
Of Epicurus, from this stormy world
Hereine in rest; of all ungrateful cares
Absolv'd, and sacred from the selfish crowd.
Happiest of men I if the same soil invites
A chosen few, companions of his youth,
Once fellow-rakes perhaps now rural friends;
With whom in easy commerce to pursue
Nature's free charms, and vie for Sylvan fame
A fair ambition; void of strife, or guile,
Or jealousy, or pain to be outdone.
Who plans th'enchanted garden, who directs
The visto best, and best conducts the stream;
Whose groves the fastest thicken, and ascend;
Whom first the welcome spring salutes; who shews
The earliest bloom, the sweetest proudest charms
Of Flora; who best gives Pomona's juice
To match the sprightly genius of Champain."
"Now let us range both far, and wide,
"Thro' all the gardens boasted pride.
"Here Jasmines spread the silver flow'r,
"To deck the wall or weave the bow'r,
"The Woodbines mix in am'rous play,
"And breathe their fragrant lives away.
"There rising Myrtles form a shade;
"There Roses blush, and scent the glade;
"The Orange, with a vernal face,
"Wears ev'ry rich autumnal grace;
"While the young blossoms here unfold,
"There shines the fruit like pendant gold;
"Citrons their balmy sweets exhale,
"And triumph in the distant gale.
"Much I love
To see the fair one bind the straggling pink,
Cheer the sweet rose, the lupin, and the stock,
And lend a staff to the still gadding pea.
Ye fair, it well becomes you. Better thus
Cheat time away, than at the crowded rout,
Rustling in silk, in a small room, close-pent,
And heated e'en to fusion; made to breathe
A rank contagious air, and fret at whist,
Or sit aside to sneer and whisper scandal."
Village Curate, p. 74.