Home  »  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical  »  Country—Country Life

C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.

Country—Country Life

Sunny spots of greenery.


Far from the gay cities, and the ways of men.


Men are taught virtue and a love of independence by living in the country.


If country life be healthful to the body, it is no less so to the mind.


  • Nor rural sights alone, but rural rounds
  • Exhilarate the spirit, and restore
  • The tone of languid Nature.
  • Cowper.

    Sir, when you have seen one green field, you have seen all green fields. Let us walk down Cheapside.


    I consider it the best part of an education to have been born and brought up in the country.


    One gets sensitive about losing mornings after getting a little used to them with living in the country. Each one of these endlessly varied daybreaks is an opera but once performed.


  • This pure air
  • Braces the listless nerves, and warms the blood:
  • I feel in freedom here.
  • Joanna Baillie.

  • Scenes must be beautiful which daily view’d
  • Please daily, and whose novelty survives
  • Long knowledge and the scrutiny of years.
  • Cowper.

  • Secure and free they pass their harmless hours,
  • Gay as the birds that revel in the grove,
  • And sing the morning up.
  • Tate.

  • Ye sacred Nine! that all my soul possess …
  • Bear me, O bear me to sequestered scenes,
  • The bow’ry mazes, and surrounding greens.
  • Pope.

    The city reveals the moral ends of being, and sets the awful problem of life. The country soothes us, refreshes us, lifts us up with religious suggestion.


  • 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.
  • Keats.

  • 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.
  • Longfellow.

  • Thus is nature’s vesture wrought
  • Too instruct our wandering thought;
  • Thus she dresses green and gay
  • To disperse our cares away.
  • Dyer.

  • From the white-thorn the May-flower shed
  • Its dewy fragrance round our head;
  • Not Ariel lived more merrily
  • Under the blossom’d bough than we.
  • Scott.

    There is virtue in country houses, in gardens and orchards, in fields, streams, and groves, in rustic recreations and plain manners, that neither cities nor universities enjoy.


  • Nature I’ll court in her sequester’d haunts,
  • By mountain, meadow, streamlet, grove, or cell;
  • Where the pois’d lark his evening ditty chants,
  • And health, and peace, and contemplation dwell.
  • Smollett.

  • Mine be a cot beside the hill;
  • A beehive’s hum shall soothe my ear;
  • A willowy brook, that turns a mill,
  • With many a fall, shall linger near.
  • Sam’l Rogers.

  • Within the sun-lit forest,
  • Our roof the bright blue sky,
  • Where fountains flow, and wild flowers blow,
  • We lift our hearts on high.
  • Ebenezer Elliott.

  • Give me, indulgent gods! with mind serene,
  • And guiltless heart, to range the sylvan scene;
  • No splendid poverty, no smiling care,
  • No well-bred hate, or servile grandeur there.
  • Young.

  • The fields did laugh, the flowers did freshly spring,
  • The trees did bud and early blossoms bore,
  • And all the quire of birds did sweetly sing,
  • And told that gardin’s pleasures in their caroling.
  • Spenser.

  • A wilderness of sweets; for nature here
  • Wanton’d as in her prime, and play’d at will
  • Her virgin fancies, pouring forth more sweets;
  • Wild above rule or art, enormous bliss.
  • Milton.

  • O happy if ye knew your happy state,
  • Ye rangers of the fields! whom nature’s boon
  • Cheers with her smiles, and ev’ry element
  • Conspires to bless.
  • Somerville.

  • Oh knew he but his happiness, of men
  • The happiest he! who far from public rage,
  • Deep in the vale, with a choice few retir’d
  • Drinks the pure pleasures of the rural life.
  • Thomson.

  • There health, so wild and gay, with bosom bare
  • And rosy cheek, keen eye, and flowing hair,
  • Trips with a smile the breezy scene along
  • And pours the spirit of content in song.
  • Dr. Wolcot.

    In those vernal seasons of the year, when the air is calm and pleasant, it were an injury and sullenness against nature not to go out and see her riches, and partake in her rejoicing with heaven and earth.


  • God made the country, and man made the town;
  • What wonder then, that health and virtue, gifts,
  • That can alone make sweet the bitter draught
  • That life holds out to all, should most abound,
  • And least be threatened in the fields and groves?
  • Cowper.

  • And see the country, far diffused around,
  • One boundless blush, one white impurpled shower
  • Of mingled blossoms! where the raptured eye
  • Hurries from joy to joy.
  • Thomson.

  • As a light,
  • And pliant harebell swinging in the breeze
  • On some grey rock—its birth-place—so had I
  • Wanton’d, fast-rooted in the ancient tower
  • Of my beloved country, wishing not
  • A happier fortune, than to wither there.
  • Wordsworth.

  • Here too dwells simple truth; plain innocence;
  • Unsullied beauty; sound unbroken youth,
  • Patient of labour, with a little pleas’d;
  • Health ever blooming; unambitious toil,
  • Calm contemplation; and poetic ease.
  • Thomson.

  • This is a beautiful life now, privacy,
  • The sweetness and the benefit of essence;
  • I see there is no man but may make his paradise,
  • And it is nothing but his love and dotage
  • Upon the world’s foul joys that keeps him out on’t.
  • Beaumont and Fletcher.

  • They love the country, and none else, who seek
  • For their own sake its silence and its shade.
  • Delights which who would leave, that has a heart
  • Susceptible of pity, or a mind
  • Cultured and capable of sober thought.
  • Cowper.

    Ask any school-boy up to the age of fifteen where he would spend his holidays. Not one in five hundred will say, “In the streets of London,” if you give him the option of green fields and running waters. It is, then, a fair presumption that there must be something of the child still in the character of the men or the women whom the country charms in maturer as in dawning life.


  • Under a tuft of shade that on the green
  • Stood whisp’ring soft, by a fresh fountain side
  • They sat them down; and after no more toil
  • Of their sweet gard’ning labour than suffic’d
  • To recommend cool zephyr, and made ease
  • More easy, wholesome thirst and appetite
  • More grateful, to their supper fruits they fell.
  • Milton.

  • How various his employments, whom the world
  • Calls idle, and who justly in return
  • Esteems that busy world an idler too!
  • Friends, books, a garden, and perhaps his pen,
  • Delightful industry enjoyed at home,
  • And Nature in her cultivated trim,
  • Dressed to his taste, inviting him abroad.
  • Cowper.

  • Now the summer’s in prime
  • Wi’ the flowers richly blooming,
  • And the wild mountain thyme
  • A’ the moorlands perfuming.
  • To own dear native scenes
  • Let us journey together,
  • Where glad innocence reigns
  • ’Mang the braes o’ Balquhither.
  • Robert Tannahill.

  • O, when I am safe in my sylvan home,
  • I mock at the pride of Greece and Rome;
  • And when I am stretch’d beneath the pines
  • When the evening star so holy shines,
  • I laugh at the lore and pride of man,
  • At the Sophist’s schools, and the learned clan;
  • For what are they all in their high conceit,
  • When man in the bush with God may meet?
  • R. W. Emerson.

  • I’m weary of my lonely hut
  • And of its blasted tree,
  • The very lake is like my lot,
  • So silent constantly—
  • I’ve liv’d amid the forest gloom
  • Until I almost fear—
  • When will the thrilling voices come
  • My spirit thirsts to hear?
  • Willis.

    There is a something in the pleasures of the country that reaches much beyond the gratification of the eye—a something that invigorates the mind, that erects its hopes, that allays its perturbations, that mellows its affections; and it will generally be found that our happiest schemes, and wisest resolutions, are formed under the mild influence of a country scene, and the soft obscurities of rural retirement.


  • Ever charming, ever new,
  • When will the landscape tire the view?
  • The fountains fall, the rivers flow
  • The woody valleys, warm and low,
  • The windy summit, wild and high,
  • Roughly rushing on the sky!
  • The pleasant seat, the ruin’d tower,
  • The naked rock, the shady bower,
  • The town and village, dome and farm,
  • Each gave each a double charm,
  • As pearls upon an Ethiop’s arm.
  • Dyer.

  • Abused mortals! did you know
  • Where joy, heart’s-ease, and comforts grow;
  • You’d scorn proud towers,
  • And seek them in these bowers,
  • Where winds sometimes our woods perhaps may shake,
  • But blustering care could never tempest make,
  • Nor murmurs e’er come nigh us,
  • Saving of fountains that glide by us.
  • Sir W. Raleigh.

  • Your love in a cottage is hungry,
  • Your vine is a nest for flies—
  • Your milkmaid shocks the graces,
  • And simplicity talks of pies!
  • You lie down to your shady slumber,
  • And wake with a bug in your ear;
  • And your damsel that walks in the morning
  • Is shod like a mountaineer.
  • N. P. Willis.

  • None can describe the sweets of country life,
  • But those blest men that do enjoy and taste them.
  • Plain husbandmen, tho’ far below our pitch,
  • Of fortune plac’d, enjoy a wealth above us;
  • To whom the earth with true and bounteous justice,
  • Free from war’s cares, returns an easy food,
  • They breathe the fresh and uncorrupted air,
  • And by clear brooks enjoy untroubled sleeps.
  • Their state is fearless and secure, enrich’d
  • With several blessings, such as greatest kings
  • Might in true justice envy, and themselves
  • Would count too happy, if they truly knew them.
  • May.

    Seldom shall we see in cities, courts, and rich families, where men live plentifully and eat and drink freely, that perfect health, that athletic soundness and vigor of constitution which is commonly seen in the country, in poor houses and cottages, where nature is their cook, and necessity their caterer, and where they have no other doctor but the sun and fresh air, and that such a one as never sends them to the apothecary.