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The chest, contrived a double debt to pay,

A bed by night, a chest of drawers by day;

The pictures, placed for ornament and use,

The twelve good rules, the royal game of goose;

The hearth, except when winter chill'd the day,

With aspen boughs, and flowers, and fennel, gay:

While broken tea cups, wisely kept for show,

Ranged o'er the chimney, glisten’d in a row.
Vain transitory splendours! could not all

Reprieve the tottering mansion from its fall!

Obscure it sinks, nor shall it more impart

An hour’s importance to the poor man’s heart;

Thither no more the peasant shall repair,

To sweet oblivion of his daily care;

No more the farmer's news, the barber's tale,

No more the woodman’s ballad shall prevail;

No more the smith his dusky brow shall clear,

Relax his ponderous strength, and lean to hear;

The host himself no longer shall be found

Careful to see the mantling bliss go round;

Nor the coy maid, half willing to be press’d,
Shall kiss the cup to pass it to the rest.

Yes! let the rich deride, the proud disdain,
These simple blessings of the lowly train;
To me more dear, congenial to my heart,
One native charm, than all the gloss of art;
Spontaneous joys, where nature has its play,
The soul adopts, and owns their first-born sway;
Lightly they frolick o’er the vacant mind,
Unenvied, unmolested, unconfined.
But the long pomp, the midnight masquerade,
With all the freaks of wanton wealth array’d,
In these, ere triflers half their wish obtain,
The toiling pleasure sickens into pain;
And, e’en while fashion’s brightest arts decoy,
The heart distrusting asks, can this be joy?

Ye friends to truth, ye statesmen, who survey The rich man's joys increase, the poor’s decay, ’Tis yours to judge, how wide the limits stand

Between a splendid and an happy land.

Proud swells the tide with loads of freighted ore,
And shouting folly hails them from her shore;
Hoards, e’en beyond the miser's wish, abound,
And rich men flock from all the world around.
Yet count our gains: this wealth is but a name,
That leaves our useful products still the same.
Not so the loss: the man of wealth and pride
Takes up a space that many poor supplied;
Space for his lake, his park’s extended bounds,
Space for his horses, equipage, and hounds;
The robe that wraps his limbs in silken sloth,
Has robb’d the neighbouring fields of halftheir growth ;
His seat, where solitary sports are seen,
Indignant spurns the cottage from the green;
Around the world each needful product flies,
For all the luxuries the world supplies:
While thus the land, adorn’d for pleasure all,
In barren splendour feebly waits the fall.

As some fair female, unadorn’d and plain,

Secure to please, while youth confirms her reign,

Slights every borrow’d charm that dress supplies,

Nor shares with art the triumph of her eyes;

But when those charms are pass’d, for charms are frail,

When time advances, and when lovers fail,

She then shines forth, solicitous to bless,

In all the glaring impotence of dress.

Thus fares the land, by luxury betray’d;

In nature’s simplest charms at first array’d,

But verging to decline, its splendours rise,

Its vistas strike, its palaces surprise;

While, scourged by famine from the smiling land,

The mournful peasant leads his humble band;

And while he sinks, without one arm to save,

The country blooms—a garden, and a grave.
Where then, ah! where shall poverty reside,

To scape the pressure of contiguous pride?

If to some common’s fenceless limits stray’d,

He drives his flock to pick the scanty blade,

Those fenceless fields the sons of wealth divide,

And e’en the bare-worn common is deny’d.

If to the city sped—what waits him there? To see profusion, that he must not share; To see ten thousand baneful arts combined To pamper luxury, and thin mankind; To see each joy the sons of pleasure know, Extorted from his fellow-creature’s woe. Here, while the courtier glitters in brocade, There, the pale artist plies the sickly trade; Here, while the proud their long-drawn pomps display, There, the black gibbet glooms beside the way. The dome where pleasure holds her midnight reign, Here, richly deck’d, admits the gorgeous train; Tumultuous grandeur crowds the blazing square, The rattling chariots clash, the torches glare. Sure, scenes like these no troubles e'er annoy! Sure, these denote one universal joy! Are these thy serious thoughts P—Ah, turn thine eyes Where the poor, houseless, shivering female lies: She once, perhaps, in village plenty bless'd,

Has wept at tales of innocence distress’d;

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