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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.


Written at an Inn at Henley

By William Shenstone (1714–1763)

TO thee, fair Freedom! I retire

From flattery, cards and dice, and din;

Nor art thou found in mansions higher

Than the low cot or humble Inn.

’T is here with boundless power I reign;

And every health which I begin

Converts dull port to bright champagne;

Such freedom crowns it, at an Inn.

I fly from pomp, I fly from plate!

I fly from Falsehood’s specious grin!

Freedom I love, and form I hate,

And choose my lodgings at an Inn.

Here, waiter! take my sordid ore,

Which lackeys else might hope to win;

It buys what courts have not in store,

It buys me freedom at an Inn.

Whoe’er has travelled life’s dull round,

Where’er his stages may have been,

May sigh to think he still has found

The warmest welcome at an Inn.