- Nor rural sights alone, but rural sounds
Exhilarate the spirit, and restore
The tone of languid Nature.
- William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book I, line 181.
- The town is man's world, but this (country life) is of God.
- William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book V, line 16.
- How happy in his low degree,
How rich in humble poverty, is he,
Who leads a quiet country life;
Discharged of business, void of strife,
And from the griping scrivener free!
Thus, ere the seeds of vice were sown,
Lived men in better ages born,
Who plough'd, with oxen of their own,
Their small paternal field of corn.
Nor trumpets summon him to war,
Nor drums disturb his morning sleep,
Nor knows he merchants' gainful care,
Nor fears the dangers of the deep.
The clamours of contentious law,
And court and state, he wisely shuns,
Nor bribed with hopes, nor dared with awe,
To servile salutations runs.
- John Dryden, Imitation of Horace (1685), 2nd Epode
- The country is no more left as it was originally created, than Belgrave Square remains its pristine swamp. The forest has been felled, the marsh drained, the enclosures planted, and the field ploughed. All these, begging Mr. Cowper’s pardon, are the works of man’s hands ; and so is the town—the one is not more artificial than the other.
- Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1833 (1832), 'Linmouth'
- Philosophers are moral, and poets are picturesque about the country.
- Letitia Elizabeth Landon, The New Monthly Magazine (1834), 'Calendar of the London Seasons' page 425
- The country is lyric,—the town dramatic. When mingled, they make the most perfect musical drama.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Kavanagh: A Tale (1849), Chapter XIII.
- Rus in urbe.
- Country in town.
- Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book XII. 57. 21.
- At secura quies et nescia fallere vita,
dives opum uariarum, at latis otia fundis,
speluncae vivique lacus, at frigida tempe
mugitusque boum mollesque sub arbore somni.
- [Here] easy quiet, a secure retreat,
A harmless life that knows not how to cheat,
With home-bred plenty the owner bless,
And rural pleasures crown his happiness;
Unvexed with quarrels, undisturb'd with noise,
The country king his peaceful realm enjoys:
Cool grots, and living lakes, the flowery pride
Of meads and streams that through the valley glide;
And shady groves that easy sleep invite,
And after toilsome days a soft repose at night.
- Virgil, Georgics (29 BC), Book II, lines 467–470 (tr. John Dryden)
- [Here] easy quiet, a secure retreat,
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 140-41.
- The East bow'd low before the blast,
In patient, deep disdain.
She let the legions thunder past,
And plunged in thought again.
- Matthew Arnold, Obermann Once More, Stanza 28.
- There are Batavian graces in all he says.
- Benjamin Disraeli, Retort to Beresford Hope (descended from an Amsterdam family), who had referred to Disraeli as an "Asian Mystery".
- O crassum ingenium. Suspicor fuisse Batavum.
- Oh, dense intelligence. I suspect that it was Batavian (i.e. from the Netherlands-Batavia).
- Erasmus, Naufragium.
- A land flowing with milk and honey.
- Exodus, III. 8; Jeremiah, XXXII. 22.
- I hate the countrie's dirt and manners, yet
I love the silence; I embrace the wit;
A courtship, flowing here in full tide.
But loathe the expense, the vanity and pride.
No place each way is happy.
- William Habington, To my Noblest Friend, I. C. Esquire.
- Far from the gay cities, and the ways of men.
- Homer, The Odyssey, Book XIV, line 410. Pope's translation.
- To one who has been long in city pent,
'Tis very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven,—to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.
- John Keats, Sonnet XIV, line 1.
- And as I read
I hear the crowing cock, I hear the note
Of lark and linnet, and from every page
Rise odors of ploughed field or flowery mead.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Chaucer.
- Somewhat back from the village street
Stands the old-fashion'd country seat,
Across its antique portico
Tall poplar-trees their shadows throw;
And from its station in the hall
An ancient time-piece says to all,—
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Old Clock on the Stairs.
- Mine be a cot beside the hill;
A beehive's hum shall soothe my car;
A willowy brook, that turns a mill,
With many a fall, shall linger near.
- Samuel Rogers, A Wish.
- Nec sit terris ultima Thule.