East & West Molesey

A Dictionary of Local History

Rowland G. M. Baker, 1972

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"On Simplicity"

Written on the banks of the river Mole on 15th January 1800, by Joseph Budworth, afterwards Joseph Palmer, (1765-1815)

"Dear Peaceful Molesey, ever in my mind
Thou shalt a niche of recollection find
Her showy meadows and elastic air,
Which Thames thy loved borders share,
Her fields luxuriant in autumnal grain,
Bending beneath the plenty they contain;
Her stacks of riches, and the numerous sheep,
Which to the wether-bell due orders keep,
While the old shepherd toddles to his tree,
Attended by his cluster'd family;
Then underneath its foliage recline,
Pull out his scrip, and with contentment dine.
Her wealthy yeomen, an industrious race!
For centuries past the heirlooms of the place:
And husbandmen so wedded to their soil,
Who ne'er have changed their village, or their toil;
Rough children on their humble hearths abound,
And ripe old age with healthful wrinkles crown'd.
The Thames, majestic! flowing by her side,
Where num'rous swans in stately freedom glide:
The willow'd Aytes their annual nests contain,
Where undisturbed the mother birds remain.
The little Mole, which lingers through her fields,
To many mills proverbial plenty yields;
So grieves to leave them, she forsakes her bed,
And in the monarch's bosom hides her head.
Say, why should we our little Mole prefer?
It is the unfetter'd quiet reigning there.
Oh sweet simplicity! thou gen'rous maid!
That decks with matchless charms the rural shade.
Thine is the gift to live and laugh with ease,
And, like thy parent Nature, ever please."

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