Whither, mad maiden, wilt thou roam? Far safer 'twere to stay at home; Where thou mayst sit, and piping, please The poor and private cottages. Since cotes and hamlets best agree With this thy meaner minstrelsy. There with the reed thou mayst express The shepherd's fleecy happiness; And with thy Eclogues intermix: Some smooth and harmless Bucolics. There, on a hillock, thou mayst sing Unto a handsome shepherdling; Or to a girl, that keeps the neat, With breath more sweet than violet. There, there, perhaps such lines as these May take the simple villages; But for the court, the country wit Is despicable unto it. Stay then at home, and do not go Or fly abroad to seek for woe; Contempts in courts and cities dwell No critic haunts the poor man's cell, Where thou mayst hear thine own lines read By no one tongue there censured. That man's unwise will search for ill, And may prevent it, sitting still.