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THE DESERTED VILLAGE *>
FIRST PRINTED IN 1769.
TO SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS r).
Sweet Aubnrn! lovelieft village of the plain, Where health and plenty oheer'd the labouring
Where fmiling fpring its earlieft vilit paid,
And parting fummer's lingring blooms delay'd.
Dear lovely bowers of innocence and eafe,
Seats of my youth, when every fport could pleafe,
How often have I loiter'd o'er thy green,
Where humble happinefs endear'd each fcene!
How often have I paus'd on every charm,
The fhelter'd cot, the cultivated farm,
The never-failng brook, the bufy mill,
q) Man vergleiche dat, wat in der Biografhie Goldfinith's titer diefes Ctdicht gefagt warden ifi.
r) Sir Jofua Reynolds, geftorlen im Jahre 1792, war Pr'djident der untcr der Regierung des jetzigev Koiiigi von England errichttttn Akademie der Maierei, Bildhauer- mid Raukitnft. Er gehtrt an den vorziitthchJten Evglifchen Mtlern. Der jettige Pritjident diefer Akademie heijst. Weft.
The decent church that topt the neighb'ring hill, .
The hawthorn bufh, with feats beneath the fhade, «.
For talking age and whifp'ring lovers made i y ,
How often have I bleft the coming day,
When toil remitting lent its turn to play;
And all the village train, from labour free, (,
Led up their fports beneath the fpreading tree;
While many a paftime circle in the fhade,
The young contending as the old furvey'd;
And many a gambol frollck'd o'er the ground,
And fleights of art and feats of ftrength we* /'
And frill, as each repeated pleafure tir'd,
Succeeding fports the mirthful band infpir'd;
The dancing pair that limply fought renown,
By holding out, to tire each other down;
The fwain miftruftlefs of his fmutted face,
While fecret laughter titter'd round the place;
The bafhful virgin s fide - long looks of love,
The matron's glance that would thofe looks
Thefe were thy charms, fweet village! [ports
With fweet fucceffion, taught ev'n toil to pleafe; They round thy bowers their cheerful influence
Thefe were thy charms — but all thefe charms
Sweet fmiling village, lovelieft of the lawn, Thy fports are fled, and all thy charms withdrawn;
Amidft thy bowers the tyrant's hand is feen,
And defolation faddens all thy green:
One only mafter grafps the whole domain,
And half a tillage ftints thy fmiling plain;
No more thy glaffy brook reflects the day,
But, chok'd with fedges, works, its weedy way;
Along1 "thy glades, a folitary guefr,
The hollow founding bittern guards its neft;
Amidft thy defert walks the lapwing flies,
And tires their echoes with unvary'd cries.
Sunk are thy bowers in fhapelefs ruin all,
And the long- grafs a'ertops the mould ring wall;
And, trembling, f hrinking from the fpoiler's hand,
Far, far away thy children leave the land.
Ill tares the land, to haft'ning ills a prey, Where wealth accumulates , and men decay: Princes and Lords may flourifh, or may fade; A breath can make them, as a breath has made: But a bold peafantry, their country s pride, When once deftroy'd, can never be fupply'd.
A time there was, ere England's griefs began, When every rood of ground maintain'd its man; For him light labour fpread her wholefome ftore, Iuft gave what life requir'd, but gave no more: His beft companions, innocence and health, And his beft riches, ignorance of wealth.
But times are alter'd: trade's unfeeling train Ufurp the land, and difpoffefs the twain; Along the lawn, where fcatter'd hamlets rofe, Unwieldy wealth and cumb'rous pomp repofe; And every want to luxury ally'd And every pang that folly pays to pride. Thofe gentle hours that plenty bade to bloom, Thofe calm defires that afk'd but little room, Thofe healthful fports that grac'd the peaceful
Liv'd in each look, and brighten'd all the green;
Thefe, 4Far departing, feek a kinder fhore,
And rural mirth and manners are no more.
'Sweet Auburn! parent of the blifsful hour,
Thy glades forlorn confefs the tyrant's power.
Here, as I take my folitary rounds,
Amidft thy tangling walks, and ruin'd grounds,
And, many a year elaps'd, return to view Where once the cottage ftood, the hawthorn
Remembrance wakes with all her bufy train, Swells at my breaft, and turns the paft to pain.
In all my wand'rings round this world of care, In all my griefs — and God has given my fhare — I ftill had hopes, my lateft hours to crown, Amidft thefe humble bowers to lay me down; To hufband out life's taper at the clofe, And keep the flame from wafting by repofe: I ftill had hopes, for pride attends us ftill, Amidft the fwains to fhew my book-learn'*/
Around my fire an evening group to draw,
And teli of all I felt, and all J faw;
And, as an hare, whom hounds and horns purfue,
Pants to the place from whence at firft he flew,
I ftill had hopes, my long vexations paft,
Here to return — and die at home at laft.
O bleft retirement, friend to life's decline, Retreat from care that never muft be mine'. How bleft is he who crowns, in fhades like
A youth of labour with an age of eafe;
Who quits a world where ftrong temptations try,
And fince '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 furly porter hands in guilty bate,
To fpurn imploring famine from the gate;
But on he moves to meet his latter eri\l,
Angels around befriending virtue's friend;
Sinks to the grave with unperceiv'd decay,
While refignation gently flopes the way;
And, all his profpects bright'ning to the laft,
His heaven commences ere the world be paft!
Sweet was the found, when oft, at ev'ning's . clofe,
Up yonder hill the village murmur rofe; There, as I paft with carelel's fteps and flow, The mingling notes came foften'd from below; The fwain refponfive as the milk-maid fung, The folier herd that low'd to meet their young, The noify geefe that gabbled o'er the pool, The playful children juft let loofe from fchool, The watch-dog's voice that bay'd the whifp'ring
And the loud laugh that fpolse the vacant mind:
Thefe all in fweet confufion fought the fhade,
And fill'd each panfe the nightingale had made.
But now the founds of population fail,
No cheerful murmurs fluctuate in the gale,
No bufy fteps the grafs - grown footway tread,
But all the bloomy flufh of life is fled:
All but yon widow'd, folitary thing,
That feebly bends belide the plafliy fpring;
She, wretched matron, forc'd, in age, for bread,
To.ftiip the brook with mantling creffes fpread,
To pick her wint'ry faggot from the thorn,
To feek her nightly fhed, and weep till morn;
She only left of all the harmlefs train,
The fad hiftorian of the penlive plain.
ISear yonder copfe, where once the garden
And ftill where many a garden flower grows wild;
There, where a few torn fhnibs the place difclofe,
The village preacher's modeft manlion rofe.
A mar*- he was to all the country dear,
And paffing rich with forty pounds a year;
Remote from towns he ran his godly race,
Nor e'er had chang'd, nor with d to change,
Unfkilful he to fawn, or feek for power,