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flew.

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Gay sprightly land of mirth and social Here beggar pride defrauds her daily cheer, ease,

To boast one splendid banquet once a Pleased with thyself, whom all the world

year: can please,

The mind still turns where shifting fashion How often have I led thy sportive choir,

draws, With tuneless pipe, beside the murmuring Nor weighs the solid worth of self-apLoire!

plause.

280 Where shading elms along the margin grew, To men of other minds my fancy fies, And freshen’d from the wave the zephyr Embosom'd in the deep where Holland

lies. And haply, though my harsh touch, falter | Metbinks her patient sons before me stand, ing still,

Where the broad ocean leans against the But mock'd all tune, and marr'd the dancer's

land, skill;

And, sedulous to stop the coming tide, Yet would the village praise my wondrous Lift'the tall rampire's artificial pride. power,

Onward, methinks, and diligently slow, And dance, forgetful of the noontide hour. The firm connected bulwark seems to grow, Alike all ages. Dames of ancient days 251 Spreads its long arms amidst the watery Have led their children through the mirth

roar, ful maze;

Scoops out an empire, and usurps the shore: And the gay grandsire, skill'd in gestic While the pent ocean, rising o'er the pile, lore,

Sees an amphibious world beneath him Has frisk'd beneath the burden of three

smile: score.

The slow canal, the yellow-blossom'd vale, So bless'd a life these thoughtless realms The willow-tufted bank, the gliding sail, display,

The crowded mart, the cultivated plain, Thus idly busy rolls their world away: A new creation rescued from his reign. Theirs are those arts that mind to mind Thus, while around the wave-subjected

endear, For honour forms the social temper here: Impels the native to repeated toil, Honour, that praise which real merit gains, Industrious habits in each bosom reign, Or e'en imaginary worth obtains, 260 And industry begets a love of gain. 300 Here passes current; paid from hand to Hence all the good from opulence that hand,

springs, It shifts, in splendid traffic, round the land: | With all those ills superfluous treasure From courts to camps, to cottages it strays,

brings, And all are taught an avarice of praise; Are here display'd. Their much loved wealth They please, are pleased, they give to get imparts esteem,

Convenience, plenty, elegance, and arts; Till, seeming bless'd, they grow to what | But view them closer, craft and fraud apthey seem.

pear, But while this softer art their bliss sup E'en liberty itself is barter'd here. plies,

At gold's superior charms all freedom flies, It gives their follies also room to rise; The needy sell it, and the rich man buys; For praise too dearly loved, or warmly | A land of tyrants, and a den of slaves, 309 sought,

- 269 Here wretches seek dishonourable graves, Enfeebles all internal strength of thought; And, calmly bent, to servitude conform, And the weak soul, within itself uubless'd, Dull as their lakes that slumber in the Leans for all pleasure on another's breast.

storm. Hence ostentation here, with tawdry art, Heavens ! how unlike their Belgic sires Pants for the vulgar praise which fools im- | of old! part;

Rough, poor, content, ungovernably bold; Here vanity assumes her pert grimace, War in each breast, and freedom on each And trims her robes of frieze with copper

brow, lace;

| How much unlike the sons of Britain now!

soil

320

die.

3

state,

sun,

endure!

Fired at the sound, my genius spreads Till time may come, when, stripp'd of all her wing,

her charms, And flies where Britain courts the western The land of scholars, and the nurse of spring;

arms, Where lawns extend that scorn Arcadian | Where noble stems transmit the patriot pride,

flame, And brighter streams than famed Hydaspes | Where kings have toil'd, and poets wrote for glide;

fame, There all around the gentlest breezes stray, One sink of level avarice shall lie, There gentle music melts on every spray; And scholars, soldiers, kings unhonour'd Creation's mildest charms are there combined,

Yet think not, thus when Freedom's ills Extremes are only in the master's mind;

I state, Stern o'er each bosom reason holds her I mean to flatter kings, or court the great:

Ye powers of truth, tbat bid my soul asWith daring aims irregularly great:

pire, Pride in their port, defiance in their eye, Far from my bosom drive the low desire! I see the lords of humankind pass by; And thou, fair Freedom, taught alike to Intent on high designs, a thoughtful band,

feel By forms unfashion'd, fresh from nature's The rabble's rage, and tyrant's angry steel; hand,

- 330 Thou transitory flower, alike undone Fierce in their native hardiness of soul, By proud contempt or favour's fostering True to imagined right, above control, While e'en the peasant boasts these rights Still may thy blooms the changeful clime

to scan, And learns to venerate himself as man. I only would repress them to secure; 370 Thine, Freedom, thine the blessings pic For just experience tells, in every soil, tured here,

That those who tbink must govern those Thine are those charms that dazzle and en

that toil; dear;

And all that Freedom's highest aims can Too bless'd indeed were such without alloy,

reach But, foster'd e'en by freedom, ills annoy; | Is but to lay proportion'd loads on each. That independence, Britons prize too high, Hence, should one order disproportion'd Keeps man from man, and breaks the social

grow, tie;

340 Its double weight must ruin all below. The self-dependent lordlings stand alone, Oh, then how blind to all that truth reAll claims that bind and sweeten life un

quires, known;

Who think it freedom when a part aspires! Here, by the bonds of nature feebly held, Calm is my soul, nor apt to rise to arms, Minds combat minds, repelling and repellid; Except when fast approaching danger Ferments arise, imprison'd factions roar,

warms:

380 Repress'd ambition struggles round her But when contending chiefs blockade the shore;

throne, Till, overwrought, the general system feels Contracting regal power to stretch their Its motions stop, or frenzy fire the wheels.

own; Nor this the worst. As nature's ties de- When I behold a factious band agree cay,

To call it freedom when themselves are As duty, love, and honour fail to sway, 350

free; Fictitious bonds, the bonds of wealth and Each wanton judge new penal statutes draw, law,

Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the Still gather strength, and force unwilling law; awe.

The wealth of climes, where savage nations Hence all obedience bows to these alone,

roam, And talent sinks, and merit weeps un | Pillaged from slaves to purchase slaves at known;

home;

Fear, pity, justice, indignation, start, How small, of all that human hearts endure, Tear off reserve, and bare my swelling That part which laws or kings can cause or heart;

390
cure!

430 Till half a patriot, half a coward grown, Still to ourselves in every place consign'd, I fly from petty tyrants to the throne. Our owu felicity we make or find: Yes, brother, curse with me that baleful With secret course, which no loud storms hour

annoy, When first ambition struck at regal power; | Glides the smooth current of domestic joy And thus polluting honour in its source, The lifted axe, the agonizing wheel, Gave wealth to sway the mind with double Luke's iron crown, and Damien's bed of force.

steel, Have we not seen, round Britain's peopled To men remote from power but rarely shore,

known, Her useful sons exchanged for useless ore ? | Leave reason, faith, and conscience all our Seen all her triumphs but destruction haste,

own. Like flaring tapers brightening as they waste;

400 Seen opulence, her grandeur to maintain, THE DESERTED VILLAGE Lead stern depopulation in her train, And over fields where scatter'd bamlets

[Publ. 1770] rose

To SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS In barren solitary pomp repose ? Have we not seen, at pleasure's lordly call, DEAR SIR, - I can have no expectations in an The smiling long-frequented village fall ? | address of this kind, either to add to your reBeheld the duteous son, the sire decay'd,

putation, or to establish my own. You can gain The modest matron, and the blushing maid

nothing from my admiration, as I am ignorant

of that art in which you are said to excel ; and Forced from their homes, a melancholy

I may lose much by the severity of your judg

ment, as few have a juster taste in poetry than To traverse climes beyond the western main; you. Setting interest therefore aside, to which Where wild Oswego spreads her swamps

I never paid much attention, I must be indulged

at present in following my affections. The only around,

dedication I ever made was to my brother, beAnd Niagara stuns with thundering sound ?

cause I loved him better than most other men. E'en now, perhaps, as there some pilgrim He is since dead. Permit me to inscribe this strays

poem to you. Through tangled forests, and through dan

How far you may be pleased with the versi

fication and mere mechanical parts of this atgerous ways;

tempt, I do not pretend to inquire: but I know Where beasts with man divided empire you will object (and indeed several of our best claim,

and wisest friends concur in the opinion) that And the brown Indian marks with murder

the depopulation it deplores is nowhere to be ous aim;

seen, and the disorders it laments are only to

be found in the poet's own imagination. To this There, wbile above the giddy tempest flies,

I can scarce make any other answer, than that And all around distressful yells arise, I sincerely believe what I have written; that I The pensive exile, bending with his woe, have taken all possible pains in my country exTo stop too fearful, and too faint to go, 420

cursions, for these four or five years past, to be

| certain of what I allege; and that all my views Casts a long look where England's glories

and inquiries have led me to believe those mis

eries real which I here attempt to display. But And bids his bosom sympathize with mine. this is not the place to enter into an inquiry, Vain, very vain, my weary search to find

| whether the country be depopulating or not; That bliss which only centres in the mind.

, the discussion would take up much room, and

| I should prove myself, at best, an indifferent Why bave I stray'd from pleasure and re politician, to tire the reader with a long prepose,

face, when I want his unfatigued attention to a To seek a good each government bestows ? long poem. In every government, though terrors reign,

In regretting the depopulation of the coun

try, I inveigh against the increase of our luxurThough tyrant kings or tyrant laws re

ies; and here also I expect the shout of modern strain,

politicians against me. For twenty or thirty

train,

shine,

30

40

years past it has been the fashion to consider The bashful virgin's sidelong looks of love, luxury as one of the greatest national advan

The matron's glance that would those looks tages : and all the wisdom of antiquity, in that

reprove. particular, as erroneous. Still, however, I must remain a professed ancient on that head, and

These were thy charms, sweet village ! continue to think those luxuries prejudicial to

sports like these, states by which so many vices are introduced, With sweet succession taught e’en toil to and so many kingdoms have been undone. In

please ; deed so much has been poured out of late on the other side of the question, that, merely for the

These round thy bowers their cheerful insake of novelty and variety, one would some

fluence shed, times wish to be in the right.

These were thy charms — but all these I am, dear sir, your sincere friend, and ar

charms are fled. dent admirer,

Sweet smiling village, loveliest of the OLIVER GOLDSMITH.

lawn, SWEET AUBURN! loveliest village of the Thy sports are fled, and all thy charms plain,

withdrawn; Where health and plenty cheer'd the la- | Amidst thy bowers the tyrant's hand is bouring swain,

seen, Where smiling spring its earliest visit paid, And desolation saddens all thy green: And parting summer's lingering blooms One only master grasps the whole domain, delay'd:

And half a tillage stints thy smiling Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease,

plain ; Seats of my youth, when every sport could No more thy glassy brook reflects the day, please:

But choked with sedges works its weedy How often have I loiter'd o'er thy green,

way; Where humble happiness endear'd each Along thy glades, a solitary guest, scene!

The bollow-sounding bittern gnards its nest; How often have I paused on every charm, Amidst thy desert walks the lapwing flies, The shelter'd cot, the cultivated farm, 10 And tires their echoes with unvaried cries. The never failing brook, the busy mill, Sunk are thy bowers in shapeless ruin all, The decent church that topp'd the neigh

And the long grass o'ertops the moulderbouring hill,

ing wall; The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the And, trembling, shrinking from the spoiler's shade,

hand, For talking age and whispering lovers made! Far, far away thy children leave the land. 50 How often have I bless'd the coming day, Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a When toil remitting lent its turn to play,

prey, And all the village train, from labour free, Where wealth accumulates, and men decay; Led up their sports beneath the spreading Princes and lords may flourish, or may fade; tree:

A breath can make them, as a breath bas While many a pastime circled in the shade,

made : The young contending as the old sur-| But a bold peasantry, their country's pride, vey'd;

When once destroy'd, can never be supplied. And many a gambol frolick'd o'er the A time there was, ere England's griefs ground,

began, And sleights of art and feats of strength When every rood of ground maintain'd its went round.

man; And still, as each repeated pleasure tired, For him light labour spread her wholesome Succeeding sports the mirthful band in

store, spired;

Just gave what life required, but gave no The dancing pair that simply sought re

more : nown,

His best companions, innocence and health, By holding out to tire each other down; And his best riches, ignorance of wealth. The swain mistrustless of his smutted face, But times are alter'd ; trade's unfeeling While secret laughter titter'd round the

train place;

Usurp the land, and dispossess the swain ;

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60

Along the lawn, where scatter'd hamlets

rose, Unwieldy wealth, and cumbrous pomp re

E pose ; And every want to luxury allied, And every pang that folly pays to pride. Those gentle hours that plenty bade to

bloom, Those calm desires that ask'd but little

room, Those healthful sports that graced the peace

ful scene, Lived in each look, and brighten'd all the

green ; These, far departing, seek a kinder shore, And rural mirth and manners are no more. Sweet AUBURN ! parent of the blissful

hour, Thy glades forlorn confess the tyrant's

How bless'd is he who crowns, in shades

like these, A youth of labour with an age of ease ; 100 Who quits a world where strong tempta

tions try, And, since 'tis hard to combat, learns to fly! For him no wretches, born to work and

weep, Explore the mine, or tempt the dangerous

deep ; No surly porter stands, in guilty state, To spurn imploring famine from the gate ; But on he moves to meet his latter end, Angels around befriending virtue's friend ; Sinks to the grave with unperceived decay, While resignation gently slopes the way; 110 And, all his prospects brightening to the

70

last,

power.

Here, as I take my solitary rounds, Amidst thy tangling walks and ruin'd

grounds, And, many a year elapsed, return to view Where once the cottage stood, the hawthorn grew,

80 Remembrance wakes with all her busy

train, Swells at my breast, and turns the past to

pain. In all my wanderings round this world of In all my griefs — and God has given my

share — I still had hopes, my latest hours' to crown, Amidst these humble bowers to lay me

care,

down ;

His heaven commences ere the world be

pass'd. Sweet was the sound, when oft at even

ing's close Up yonder bill the village murmur rose ; There, as I pass’d with careless steps and

slow, The mingling notes came soften'd from

below; The swain responsive as the milkmaid sung, The sober herd that low'd to meet their

young ; The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the pool, The playful children just let loose from school,

120 The watch-dog's voice that bayed the whis

pering wind, And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant

mind ; These all in sweet confusion sought the

shade, And fill'd each pause the nightingale had

made. But now the sounds of population fail, No cheerful murmurs fluctuate in the gale, No busy steps the grass-grown footway

tread, But all the blooming flush of life is filed ; All but yon widow'd, solitary thing, 129 That feebly bends beside the plashy spring; She, wretched matron, forced, in age, for

bread, To strip the brook with mantling cresses

spread, To pick her wintry faggot from the thorn, To seek her nightly shed, and weep till

morn;

To husband out life's taper at the close, And keep the flame from wasting by re

pose : I still bad hopes, for pride attends us still, Amidst the swains to show my book-learn'd skill,

90 Around my fire an evening group to draw, And tell of all I felt, and all I saw ; And as a bare, whom hounds and horns

pursue, Pants to the place from whence at first she

flew, I still had hopes, my long vexations pass'd, Here to return — and die at home at last. O bless'd retirement, friend to life's de

cline, Retreats from care, that never must be

mine,

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