Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Shepherd

Below is a painting by the Frenchman Claude Lorrain titled "Le Berger" (The Shepherd). Lorrain lived in the seventeenth century and is best known for his landscapes.


  1. Haply just Heaven's defence and shield of right
    Doth love the innocence of simple swains,
    The thunderbolts on highest mountains light,
    And seld or never strike the lower plains;
    So kings have cause to fear Bellona's might,
    Not they whose sweat and toil their dinner gains,
    Nor ever greedy soldier was enticed
    By poverty, neglected and despised.

    O poverty, chief of the heavenly brood,
    Dearer to me than wealth or kingly crown:
    No wish for honor, thirst of others' good,
    Can move my heart, contented with mine own:
    We quench our thirst with water of this flood,
    Nor fear we poison should therein be thrown;
    These little flocks of sheep and tender goats
    Give milk for food, and wool to make us coats.

    We little wish, we need but little wealth,
    From cold and hunger us to clothe and feed;
    These are my sons, their care preserves form stealth
    Their father's flocks, nor servants more I need:
    Amid these groves I walk oft for my health,
    And to the fishes, birds, and beasts give heed,
    How they are fed, in forest, spring and lake,
    And their contentment for example take.