This farm, young passengers, these marshy meads,
This cottage thatch'd with sedge and matted reeds,
Hewn from the season'd oak by rustic skill
I long have nursed, and am their Guardian still. Years still succeeding by my influence bear
Some wealth, some added blessing to my care.
For sire and sons, who live and prosper here,
Worship my name, and as their God revere.
The grateful sire is careful to erase
Moss and rough brambles round my altar's base.
The gifts are small that childish hands impart,
But gain their value from the giver's heart;
A crown of flowers, the earliest of the year,
And the green corn's yet moist and tender ear.
Round me the purple violets are pour'd;
The poppy's crimson flower, the pallid gourd,
The fragrant apple, are as offerings paid,
And grapes that ripen in the vineyard's shade.
Oft bearded goats (but tell it not again)
And their hoofed ewes with blood my altar stain. For all these honours, fix'd upon this spot
I guard my Master's vines and humble cot.
Then, Boys, refrain from theft, nor pilfer here;
Rich is our neighbour, and his garden's near:
There a small loss Priapus little heeds;
There's plenteous spoil. This pathway thither leads.