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The Natural History of Selborne - Gilbert White

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The Natural History of Selborne

by Gilbert White

INVITATION TO SELBORNE.

See, Selborne spreads her boldest beauties round 
The varied valley, and the mountain ground, 
Wildly majestic ! What is all the pride, 
Of flats, with loads of ornaments supplied ?-- 
Unpleasing, tasteless, impotent expense, 
Compared with Nature's rude magnificenee.

Arise, my stranger, to these wild scenes haste; 
The unfinish'd farm awaits your forming taste: 
Plan the pavilion, airy, light, and true; 
Through the high arch call in the length'ning view; 
Expand the forest sloping up the hill; 
Swell to a lake the scant, penurious rill; 
Extend the vista; raise the castle mound 
In antique taste, with turrets ivy-crown'd: 
O'er the gay lawn the flow'ry shrub dispread, 
Or with the blending garden mix the mead; 
Bid China's pale, fantastic fence delight; 
Or with the mimic statue trap the sight.

Oft on some evening, sunny, soft, and still,
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