Imágenes de página




How often have I paused on every charm, Along the glades, a solitary guest,
The sheltered cot, the cultivated farm, 10 | The hollow sounding bittern guards its
The never-failing brook, the busy mill, nest;
The decent church that topped the neigh-Amidst thy desert walks the lapwing
boring hill,

flies, The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath And tires their echoes with unvaried cries. the shade

Sunk are thy bowers in shapeless ruin all, For talking age and whispering lovers And the long grass o'ertops the mouldermade!

ing wall; How often have I blest the coming day, 15 And trembling, shrinking from the spoiler's When toil remitting lent its turn to play, hand, And all the village train, from labor free, Far, far away thy children leave the land. Led up their sports beneath the spreading Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a tree,


51 While many a pastime circled in the shade, where wealth accumulates, and men The young contending as the old sur

decay: veyed;

20 Princes and lords may flourish, or may And many a gambol frolicked o'er the fade; ground,

A breath can make them, as a breath has And sleights of art and feats of strength I made: went round.

But a bold peasantry, their country's And still, as each repeated pleasure tired, pride, Succeeding sports the mirthful band in- When once destroyed, can never be supspired;

plied. The dancing pair that simply sought re- A time there was, ere England's griefs nown

- 25 By holding out to tire each other down; When every rood of ground maintained The swain mistrustless of his smutted face, its man; While secret laughter tittered round the For him light labor spread her wholesome place;

store, The bashful virgin's sidelong looks of love, Just gave what life required, but gave no The matron's glance that would those more: looks reprove.

30 His best companions, innocence and These were thy charms, sweet village! health; sports like these,

And his best riches, ignorance of wealth. With sweet succession, taught even toil to But times are altered; trade's unfeeling please:

train These round thy bowers their cheerful Usurp the land and dispossess the swain; influence shed:

Along the lawn, where scattered hamlets These were thy charms—but all these rose,

65 charms are fled.

Unwieldy wealth and cumbrous pomp reSweet smiling village, loveliest of the I pose, lawn,

35 | And every want to opulence allied, Thy sports are fled, and all thy charms And every pang that folly pays to pride. withdrawn;

These gentle hours that plenty bade to Amidst thy bowers the tyrant's hand is bloom, seen,

Those calm desires that asked but little And desolation saddens all thy green:


70 One only master grasps the whole domain, | Those healthful sports that graced the And half a tillage stints thy smiling peaceful scene, plain.

40 Lived in each look, and brightened all the No more thy glassy brook reflects the day, green; But, choked with sedges, works its weedy These, far departing, seek a kinder shore, way;

| And rural mirth and manners are no more.


[ocr errors]



Sweet Auburn! parent of the blissful But on he moves to meet his latter end, hour,

75 i Angels around befriending virtue's friend: Thy glades forlorn confess the tyrant's Bends to the grave with unperceived depower.

| cay, Here, as I take my solitary rounds While resignation gently slopes the way; Amidst thy tangling walks and ruined And, all his prospects brightening to the grounds,

last, And, many a year elapsed, return to view His heaven commences ere the world be Where once the cottage stood, the haw past! thorn grew,

80 Sweet was the sound, when oft at evenRemembrance wakes with all her busy ing's close train,

Up yonder hill the village murmur rose; Swells at my breast, and turns the past to There, as I passed with careless steps and pain.


115 In all my wanderings round this world The mingling notes came softened from of care,

below; In all my griefs—and God has given my The swain responsive as the milk-maid share —

| sung, I still had hopes, my latest hours to crown, The sober herd that lowed to meet their Amidst these humble bowers to lay me young, down;

86 The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the To husband out life's taper at the close, pool, And keep the flame from wasting by re The playful children just let loose from pose;


120 I still had hopes, for pride attends us still, The watch-dog's voice that bayed the Amidst the swains to show my book whispering wind, learned skill,

90 And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant Around my fire an evening group to mind;draw,

These all in sweet confusion sought the And tell of all I felt, and all I saw;

shade, And, as an hare whom hounds and horns And filled each pause the nightingale had pursue

made. Pants to the place from whence at first But now the sounds of population fail, 125 she flew,

No cheerful murmurs fluctuate in the I still had hopes, my long vexations gale, past,

95 No busy steps the grass-grown footway Here to return-and die at home at last. tread, O blest retirement, friend to life's de- | For all the bloomy flush of life is fled. cline,

All but yon widowed, solitary thing, Retreats from care, that never must be That feebly bends beside the plashy mine,

spring: How happy he who crowns in shades like She, wretched matron, forced in age, for these

bread, A youth of labor with an age of ease; 100 To strip the brook with mantling cresses Who quits a world where strong tempta I spread, tions try,

| To pick her wintry faggot from the thorn, And, since 'tis hard to combat, learns to To seek her nightly shed, and weep till

morn; For him no wretches, born to work and She only left of all the harmless train, 135 weep,

The sad historian of the pensive plain. Explore the mine, or tempt the dangerous Near yonder copse, where once the deep;

garden smiled, No surly porter stands in guilty state, 105 | And still where many a garden flower To spurn imploring famine from the gate; grows wild;






There, where a few torn shrubs the place | He tried each art, reproved each dull dedisclose,

lay, The village preacher's modest mansion Allured to brighter worlds, and led the rose.


170 A man he was to all the country dear, | Beside the bed where parting life was And passing rich with forty pounds a laid, year;

| And sorrow, guilt, and pain by turns disRemote from towns he ran his godly mayed, race,

The reverend champion stood. At his Nor e'er had changed, nor wished to control change his place;

Despair and anguish fled the struggling Unpractised he to fawn, or seek for soul; power,

Comfort came down the trembling wretch By doctrines fashioned to the varying to raise,

175 hour;

And his last faltering accents whispered Far other aims his heart had learned to praise. prize,

At church, with meek and unaffected More skilled to raise the wretched than to grace, rise.

His looks adorned the venerable place; His house was known to all the vagrant Truth from his lips prevailed with double train;

sway, He chid their wanderings but relieved And fools, who come to scoff, remained to their pain:

pray. The long-remembered beggar was his The service past, around the pious man, guest,

With steady zeal, each honest rustic ran; Whose beard descending swept his aged Even children followed with endearing breast;

wile, The ruined spendthrift, now no longer And plucked his gown to share the good proud,

man's smile. Claimed kindred there, and had his claims His ready smile a parent's warmth exallowed;

pressed; The broken soldier, kindly bade to their welfare pleased him, and their cares stay,

distressed: Sat by the fire, and talked the night away, To them his heart, his love, his griefs were Wept o'er his wounds or, tales of sorrow given, done,

But all his serious thoughts had rest in Shouldered his crutch and showed how I heaven. fields were won.

As some tall cliff that lifts its awful form, Pleased with his guests, the good man Swells from the vale, and midway leaves · learned to glow,

the storm,

190 And quite forgot their vices in their woe; Though round its breast the rolling clouds Careless their merits or their faults to are spread, scan,

161 Eternal sunshine settles on its head. His pity gave ere charity began.

Beside yon straggling fence that skirts Thus to relieve the wretched was his the way, pride,

With blossomed furze unprofitably gay, And e'en his failings leaned to virtue's There, in his noisy mansion, skilled to side;


195 But in his duty prompt at every call, 165 The village master taught his little school. He watched and wept, he prayed and felt A man severe he was, and stern to view; for all;

I knew him well, and every truant knew; And, as a bird each fond endearment tries Well had the boding tremblers learned to To tempt its new-fledged offspring to the trace skies,

| The day's disasters in his morning face; 209






Full well they laughed with counter- | The hearth, except when winter chilled feited glee

the day, At all his jokes, for many a joke had he; | With aspen boughs and flowers and fennel Full well the busy whisper circling round gay; . Conveyed the dismal tidings when he While broken tea-cups, wisely kept for frowned.

show, Yet he was kind, or, if severe in aught, 205 Ranged o'er the chimney, glistened in a The love he bore to learning was in fault; row. The village all declared how much he Vain transitory splendors! could not all knew:

Reprieve the tottering mansion from its 'Twas certain he could write, and cipher fall?

Obscure it sinks, nor shall it more impart Lands he could measure, terms and tides An hour's importance to the poor man's presage,


240 And even the story ran that he could Thither no more the peasant shall repair gauge;

210 To sweet oblivion of his daily care; In arguing, too, the parson owned his skill, No more the farmer's news, the barber's For, even though vanquished, he could tale, argue still;

No more the woodman's ballad shall preWhile words of learned length and thun vail; dering sound

No more the smith his dusky brow shall Amazed the gazing rustics ranged around; clear,

245 And still they gazed, and still the wonder Relax his ponderous strength, and lean grew,

I to hear; That one.small head could carry all he | The host himself no longer shall be found knew.

Careful to see the mantling bliss go round; But past is all his fame. The very spot Nor the coy maid, half willing to be Where many a time he triumphed is for pressed,

Shall kiss the cup to pass it to the rest. 250 Near yonder thorn that lifts its head on Yes! let the rich deride, the proud dishigh,

dain, Where once the sign-post caught the pass- These simple blessings of the lowly train; ing eye,


To me more dear, congenial to my heart, Low lies that house where nut-brown One native charm, than all the gloss of art. draughts inspired,

Spontaneous joys, where nature has its Where graybeard mirth and smiling toil play, retired,

The soul adopts, and owns their first-born Where village statesmen talked with looks I sway; profound,

Lightly they frolic o'er the vacant mind, And news much older than their ale went Unenvied, unmolested, unconfined. round.

But the long pomp, the midnight masImagination fondly stoops to trace 225 querade, The parlor splendors of that festive place: | With all the freaks of wanton wealth arThe white-washed wall, the nicely sanded I rayed

260 floor,

In these, ere triflers half their wish obThe varnished clock that clicked behind tain, the door;

The toiling pleasure sickens into pain; The chest contrived a double debt to pay, And, even while fashion's brightest arts A bed by night, a chest of drawers by decoy, day;

· 230 The heart distrusting asks if this be joy. The pictures placed for ornament and Ye friends to truth, ye statesmen who use,

survey The twelve good rules, the royal game of The rich 'man's joy increase, the poor's goose;






'Tis yours to judge, how wide the limits While, scourged by famine from the smilstand

ing land Between a splendid and an happy land. The mournful peasant leads his humble Proud swells the tide with loads of band,

300 freighted ore,

And while he sinks, without one arm to And shouting Folly hails them from her save, shore;

- 270

The country blooms—a garden and a Hoards even beyond the miser's wish grave. abound,

Where then, ah! where, shall poverty And rich men flock from all the world reside, around.

To 'scape the pressure of contiguous pride? Yet count our gains! This wealth is but If to some common's fenceless limits a name


305 · That leaves our useful products still the He drives his flock to pick the scanty same.

blade, Not so the loss. The man of wealth and Those fenceless fields the sons of wealth pride

divide, Takes up a space that many poor sup- And even the bare-worn common is denied. plied;

If to the city sped—what waits him Space for his lake, his park's extended there? bounds,

To see profusion that he must not share; 310 Space for his horses, equipage, and hounds: | To see ten thousand baneful arts combined The robe that wraps his limbs in silken To pamper luxury, and thin mankind; sloth

To see those joys the sons of pleasure Has robbed the neighboring fields of half know their growth;

280 Extorted from his fellow-creature's woe. His seat, where solitary sports are seen, Here while the courtier glitters in broIndignant spurns the cottage from the cade, green:

There the pale artist plies the sickly trade; Around the world each needful product Here while the proud their long-drawn flies,

pomps display, For all the luxuries the world supplies; There the black gibbet glooms beside the While thus the land adorned for pleasure way. all

The dome where pleasure holds her midIn barren splendor feebly waits the fall. | night reign As some fair female unadorned and Here, richly decked, admits the gorgeous plain,

train: Secure to please while youth confirms her Tumultuous grandeur crowds the blazing reign,

square, Slights every borrowed charm that dress The rattling chariots clash, the torches

supplies, Nor shares with art the triumph of her Sure scenes like these no troubles e'er aneyes;

290 noy! But when those charms are past, for Sure these denote one universal joy! charms are frail,

Are these thy serious thoughts?—Ah, turn When time advances, and when lovers thine eyes

325 fail,

Where the poor houseless shivering female She then shines forth, solicitous to bless, lies. In all the glaring impotence of dress. She once, perhaps, in village plenty blest, Thus fares the land by luxury betrayed: 295 Has wept at tales of innocence distressed; In nature's simplest charms at first ar Her modest looks the cottage might adorn, rayed,

Sweet as the primrose peeps beneath the But verging to decline, its splendors rise, thorn:

330 Its vistas strike, its palaces surprise;





1 artisan.

« AnteriorContinuar »