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THE DESERTED VILLAGE 9).
FIRST PRINTED IN
TO SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS 1).
Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain, Where health and plenty cheer'd the labouring
Swain; Where smiling spring its earliest visit paid, And parting sumner's lingring blooras delay’d. Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease, Seats of my youth, when every sport could please, How often have I loiter'd o'er thy green, Where humble happiness endear'd each scene! How often have I paus'd on every charm, The shelter'd cot, the cultivated farm, The never - failng brook, the busy mill,
9) Man vergleiche das, was in der Biographie Goldfinith's
über dieses Gedicht gesagt worden ist. 1) Sir Josua Reynolds, gestorben im Jahre 1792, war
Präsident der unter der Regierung des jetzigen Königs von England errichteten Akademie der Malerei, Bilito hauer: und Baukunst. Er gehort 24 den vorzüglichSten Englischen Malern. Der jetzige Präsident dieser Akademie heijst West.
The decent church that topt the neighb’ring hill, The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade, For talking age and whisp’ring lovers made! How often have I blest the coming day, When toil remitting lent its turn to play; And all the village train, from labour free, Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree; While many a pastime circle in the shade, The young contending as the old survey'd; . And many a gambol frolick'd o'er the ground, And sleights of art and feats of strength West
round And still, as each repeated pleasure tir'd, Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspir’d; The dancing pair that simply sought renown, By holding out, to tire each other down; The swain mistrustless of his smutted face, While secret laughter titter'd round the place; The bashful virgin s fide- long looks of love, The matron's glance that would those looks
reprove. . These were thy charms, sweet village! [ports
like these, With sweet succession, taught ev'n toil to pleale; They round thy bowers their cheerful influence :
shed', These were thy charms – but all these charms
are fled. i Sweet siniling village, loveliest of the lawn, Thy sports are fled, and all thy charms with
drawn; Amidst thy bowers 'the tyrant's hand is seen, And desolation saddens all thy green: One only master grasps the whole domain, And half a tillage stints thy smiling plain; No more thy glasly brook reflects the day, But, chok'd with Ledges, works its weedy was,
Along 'thy glades, a solitary guest,
Ill fares the land, to hast’ning ills a prey, Where wealth accumulates, and men decay: Princes and Lords may flourish, or may fade; A breath can make them, as a breath has made: But a bold peasantry, their country's pride, When once destroy'd, can never be supply’d.
• A time there was, ere England's griefs began, When every rood of ground maintain'd its man; For him light labour spread her wholesome store, Iust gave what life requir'd, but gave no more: His best companions, innocence and health, And his best riches, ignorance of wealth.
But times are alter'd:' trade's unfeeling train Usurp the land, and dispossess the swain; · Along the lawn, where scatter'd hamlets rose, Unwieldy wealth and cumb'rous pomp repose; And every want to luxury ally'd And every pang that folly pays to pride. ' Those gentle hours that plenty bade to bloom, Those calm desires that ask'd but little rooin, Those healthful sports that grac'd the peaceful
scene, Liv’d in each look, and brighten'd all the green; These, far departing, seek a kinder shore, And rural mirth and manners are no inore.
Sweet Auburn! parent of the blissful hour, Thy glades forlorn confess the tyrant's power. Here, as I take my solitary rounds, Amidst thy tangling walks, and ruin'd grounds, And, many a year elaps'd, return to view Where once the cottage stood, the hawthorn
Remembrance wakes with all her busy train, Swells at my breaft, and turns the past to pain.
In all my wand'rings round this world of care, · In' all my griefs – and God has given my share
I still had hopes, my latest hours to crown,
O blest retirement, friend to life's decline, Retreat from care that never must be rnine! How blest is he who crowns, in shades like
these, A youth of labour with an age of ease; Who quits a world where strong temptations 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 dang'rous deep; No surly porter stands in guilty state, To spurn imploring fainine from the gate ; But on he moves to meet his latter end, Angels around befriending yirtue's friend; Sinks to the grave with unperceiv'd decay, While resignation gently slopes the way; And, all his prospects bright’ning to the last, His heaven commences ere the world be past! Sweet was the found, when oft, at ev'ning's
· close, Up yonder hill the village murmur rose; There, as I past with careless steps and flow, The mingling notes came soften'd from below; The swain responsive as the milk - maid sung, The fober herd that low'd to meet their young, The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the pool, The playfuị children just let loose from school, The watch - dog's voice that bay'd the whisp'ring
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 bloomy flush of life is fled: All but yon widow'd, solitary thing, That feebly bends beside the plasny spring; She, wretched matron, forc'd, in age, for bread, To strip the brook with mantling cresses spread, To pick her wint'ry faggot from the thorn, To seek her nightly shed, and weep till morn; She only left of all the harmless train, The sad historian of the pensive plain. Near yonder copse, where once the garden
' smild, And still where many a garden flower grows wild; There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose, The village preacher's modest mansion rose. A man he was to all the country dear, And passing rich with forty pounds a year; Remote from towns he ran his godly race, Nor e'er had chang'd, nor wish'd to change,
his place; Unskilful he to fawn, or seek for power,