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And love's and friendship's finely pointed dart Hence ostentation here, with tawdry art,
Pants for the vulgar praise which fools impart ;
And trims her robes of frieze with copper lace; But all the gentler morals, - such as play
Here beggar pride defrauds her daily cheer, Through life's more cultured walks, and charm To boast one splendid banquet once a year; the way,
The mind still turns where shifting fashion draws, These, far dispersed, on timorous pinions fly, Nor weighs the solid worth of self-applause. To sport and flutter in a kinder sky.
To men of other minds my fancy flies, To kinder skies, where gentler manners reign, Embosomed in the deep where Holland lies. I turn, and France displays her bright domain. Methinks her patient sons before me stand, Gay, sprightly land of mirth and social ease, Where the broad ocean leans against the land, Pleased with thyself, whom all the world can And, sedulous to stop the coming tide, please,
Lift the tall rampire's artificial pride. How often have I led thy sportive choir
Onward, methinks, and diligently slow, With tuneless pipe beside the murmuring Loire !
The firm connected bulwark seems to grow, When shading elms along the margin grew, Spreads its long arms amidst the watery roar, And, freshened from the wave, the zephyr flew; Scoops out an empire, and usurps the shore; And haply, though my harsh touch flattering still, While the pent ocean, rising o'er the pile, But mocked all tune and marred the dancer's Sees an amphibious world beneath him smile; skill;
The slow canal, the yellow-blossomed vale, Yet would the village praise my wondrous power, The willow-tufted bank, the gliding sail, And dance, forgetful of the noontide hour. The crowded mart, the cultivated plain, Alike all ages: dames of ancient days
A new creation rescued from his reign.
Thus while around the wave-subjected soil
And industry begets a love of gain.
With all those ills superfluous treasure brings, Theirs are those arts that mind to mind endear, Are here displayed. Their much-loved wealth imFor honor forms the social temper here:
parts Honor, that praise which real merit gains, Convenience, plenty, elegance, and arts; Or e'en imaginary worth obtains,
But view them closer, craft and fraud appear, Here passes current ; paid from hand to hand, E'en liberty itself is bartered here; It shifts in splendid traffic round the land ; At gold's superior charms all freedom flies, From courts to camps, to cottages it strays, The needy sell it, and the rich man buys. And all are taught an avarice of praise :
A land of tyrants, and a den of slaves, They please, are pleased ; they give to get esteem; Here wretches seek dishonorable graves, Till, seeming blest, they grow to what they seem. And, calmly bent, to servitude conform,
Dull as their lakes that slumber in the storm. But while this softer art their bliss supplies, It gives their follies also room to rise;
Heavens ! how unlike their Belgic sires of For praise too dearly loved or warmly sought
old ! Enfeebles all internal strength of thought; Rough, poor, content, ungovernably bold, And the weak soul, within itself unblest,
War in each breast and freedom on each brow; Leans for all pleasure on another's breast.
How much unlike the sons of Britain now!
Fired at the sound, my genius spreads her wing, But think not, thus when freedom's ills I state, And flies where Britain courts the western spring; I mean to flatter kings or court the great ; Where lawns extend that scorn Arcadian pride, Ye powers of truth, that bid my soul aspire, And brighter streams than famed Ilydaspes glide. Far from my bosom drive the low desire ! There all around the gentlest breezes stray, And thou, fair freedom, taught alike to feel There gentler music melts on every spray;
The rabble's rage and tyrant's angry steel; Creation's mildest charms are there combined, Thou transitory flower, alike undone Extremes are only in the master's mind.
By proud contempt or favor's fostering sun,
Still may thy blooms the changeful clime endure ! Stern o'er each bosom reason holds her state, I only would repress them to secure. With daring aims irregularly great,
For just experience tells, in every soil, Pride in their port, defiance in their eye,
That those that think must govern those that I see the lords of human kind pass by : Intent on high designs, a thoughtful band, And all that freedom's highest aims can reach By forms unfashioned, fresh from nature's hand, Is but to lay proportioned loads on each. Fierce in their native hardiness of soul,
Hence, should one order disproportioned grow, True to imagined right above control,
Its double weight must ruin all below.
Oh then how blind to all that truth requires,
Who think it freedom when a part aspires ! Thine, freedom, thine the blessings pictured Calm is my soul, nor apt to rise in arms, here,
Except when fast approaching danger warms; Thine are those charms that dazzle and endear! But when contending chiefs blockade the throne, Too blest indeed were such without alloy ;
Contracting regal power to stretch their own; But, fostered e'en by freedom, ills annoy;
When I behold a factious band agree That independence Britons prize too high
To call it freedom when themselves are free, Keeps man from man, and breaks the social tie; Each wanton judge new penal statutes draw, The self-dependent lordlings stand alone,
Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law, All claims that bind and sweeten life unknown: The wealth of climes where savage nations roam Here, by the bonds of nature feebly held,
Pillaged from slaves to purchase slaves at home
Tear off reserve and bare my swelling heart,
Yes, brother, curse with me that baleful hour
And thus, polluting honor in its source, Fictitious bonds, the bonds of wealth and law, Gave wealth to sway the mind with double force. Still gather strength, and force unwilling awe. Have we not seen, round Britain's peopled shore, Hence all obedience bows to these alone,
Her useful sons exchanged for useless ore ? And talent sinks, and merit weeps unknown; Seen all her triumphs but destruction haste, Till time may come when, stripped of all her Like flaring tapers brightening as they waste charms,
Seen opulence, her grandeur to maintain,
Have we not seen, at pleasure's lordly call,
THE DESERTED VILLAGE.
Beheld the duteous son, the sire decayed,
How often have I paused on every charm – The modest matron, and the blushing maid, The sheltered cot, the cultivated farm, Forced from their homes, a melancholy train, The never-failing brook, the busy mill, To traverse climes beyond the western main, The decent church that topt the neighboring hill, Where wild Oswego spreads her swamps around, The hawthorn-bush, with seats beneath the shade And Niagara stuns with thundering sound ? For talking age and whispering lovers made!
How often have I blest the coming day, E’en now, perhaps, as there some pilgrim strays When toil, remitting, lent its turn to play, Through tangled forests and through dangerous And all the village train, from labor free, ways,
Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree; Where beasts with man divided empire claim,
While many a pastime circled in the shade, And the brown Indian marks with murderous aim; The young contending as the old surveyed ; There, while above the giddy tempest flies,
And many a gambol frolicked o'er the ground, And all around distressful yells arise,
And sleights of art and feats of strength went The pensive exile, bending with his woe,
round; To stop too fearful, and too faint to go,
And still as each repeated pleasures tired, Casts a long look where England's glories shine,
Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspired : And bids his bosom sympathize with mine. The dancing pair, that simply sought renown
By holding out, to tire each other down ; Vain, very vain, my weary search to find
The swain mistrustless of his smutted face, That bliss which only centres in the mind;
While secret laughter tittered round the place; Why have I strayed from pleasure and repose,
The bashful virgin's sidelong looks of love, To seek a good each government bestows
The matron's glance that would those looks reIn every government, though terrors reign,
prove: Though tyrant kings or tyrant laws restrain,
These were thy charms, sweet village! sports like How small, of all that human hearts endure,
these, That part which laws or kings can cause or cure !
With sweet succession, taught e'en toil to please; Still to themselves in every place consigned,
These round thy bowers their cheerful influence Our own felicity we make or find;
shed; With secret course which no loud storms annoy
These were thy charms - but all these charms are Glides the smooth current of domestic joy,
fied. The lifted axe, the agonizing wheel, Luke's iron crown, and Damien's bed of steel,
Sweet-smiling village, loveliest of the lawn! To men remote from power but rarely known, Thy sports are fled, and all thy charms withLeave reason, faith, and conscience all our own. drawn;
OLIVER GOLDSMITH. 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 glassy brook reflects the day, SWEET Auburn ! loveliest village of the plain, But, choked with sedges, works its weedy way; Where health and plenty cheered the laboring Along thy glades, a solitary guest, swain,
The hollow-sounding bittern guards its nest; Where smiling spring its earliest visit paid, Amidst thy desert walks the lapwing flies, And parting summer's lingering blooms delayed ! And tires their echoes with unvaried cries ; Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease — Sunk are thy bowers in shapeless ruin all, Seats of my youth, when every sport could please! And the long grass o’ertops the mouldering wall; How often have I loitered o'er thy green,
And, trembling, shrinking from the spoiler's hand, Where humble happiness endeared each scene ! Far, far away thy children leave the land.
Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
And, as a hare, whom hounds and horns pursue, Where wealth accumulates, and men decay; Pants to the place from whence at first she flew, Princes and lords may flourish, or may fade – I still had hopes, my long vexations past, A breath can make them, as a breath has made ; Here to return - and die at home at last. But a bold peasantry, their country's pride, When once destroyed, can never be supplied.
O blest retirement! friend to life's decline !
Retreats from care, that never must be mine! A time there was, ere England's griefs began, How blest is he who crowns, in shades like these. When every rood of ground maintained its man: A youth of labor with an age of ease; For him light labor spread her wholesome store – Who quits a world where strong temptations Just gave what life required, but gave no more ; try, His best companions, innocence and health ; And, since 'tis hard to combat, learns to fly! And his best riches, ignorance of wealth.
For him no wretches, born to work and weep,
Explore the mine, or tempt the dangerous deep; But times are altered : trade's unfeeling train No surly porter stands in guilty state, Usurp the land, and dispossess the swain ; To spurn imploring famine from the gate; Along the lawn, where scattered hamlets rose, But on he moves to meet his latter end, Unwieldy wealth and cumbrous pomp repose ; Angels around befriending virtue's friend; And every want to luxury allied,
Sinks to the grave with unperceived decay, And every pang that folly pays to pride.
While resignation gently slopes the way; Those gentle hours that plenty bade to bloom, And, all his prospects brightening to the last, Those calm desires that asked but little room, His heaven commences ere the world be past. Those healthful sports that graced the peaceful scene,
Sweet was the sound, when oft at evening's Lived in each look, and brightened all the close green
Up yonder hill the village murmur rose; These, far departing, seek a kinder shore,
There, as I passed with careless steps and slow, And rural mirth and manners are no more.
The mingling notes came softened from below:
The swain responsive as the milkmaid sung, Sweet Auburn ! parent of the blissful hour, The sober herd that lowed to meet their young, Thy glades forlorn confess the tyrant's power. The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the pool, Here, as I take my solitary rounds
The playful children just let loose from school, Amidst thy tangling walks and ruined grounds, The watch-dog's voice that bayed the whispering And, many a year elapsed, return to view
But now the sounds of population fail ;
But all the bloomy blush of life is fled.
That feebly bends beside the plashy spring; And keep the flame from wasting by repose; She, wretched matron, forced in age, for bread, I still had hopes — for pride attends us still — To strip the brook with mantling cresses spread, Amidst the swains to show my book-learned To pick her wintry fagot from the thorn, skill,
To seek her nightly shed, and weep till morn — Around my fire an evening group to draw, She only left of all the harmless train, And tell of all I felt, and all I saw;
The sad historian of the pensive plain.
THE DESERTED VILLAGE.
Near yonder copse, where once the garden Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway, smiled,
And fools who came to scoff remained to pray. And still where many a garden-flower grows wild, The service past, around the pious man, There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose, With ready zeal, each honest rustic ran; The village preacher's modest mansion rose. E'en children followed, with endearing wile, A man he was to all the country dear,
And plucked his gown, to share the good man's And passing rich with forty pounds a year;
smile. Remote from towns he ran his godly race,
His ready smile a parent's warmth exprest; Nor e'er had changed, nor wished to change, his Their welfare pleased him, and their cares displace;
tressed; Unskilful he to fawn, or seek for power
To them his heart, his love, his griefs, were By doctrines fashioned to the varying hour;
given — Far other aims his heart had learned to prize - But all his serious thoughts had rest in heaven. More bent to raise the wretched than to rise. As some tall cliff that lifts its awful form, His house was known to all the vagrant train; Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm, He chid their wanderings, but relieved their pain. Though round its breast the rolling clouds are The long-remembered beggar was his guest,
spread, Whose beard, descending, swept his aged breast; Eternal sunshine settles on its head. The ruined spendthrift, now no longer proud, Claimed kindred there, and had his claims allowed; Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way, The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay,
With blossomed furze unprofitably gay, Sate by his fire, and talked the night away - There, in his noisy mansion, skilled to rule, Wept o'er his wounds, or, tales of sorrow done, The village master taught his little school. Shouldered his crutch, and showed how fields were A man severe he was, and stern to view
I knew him well, and every truant knew; Pleased with his guests, the good man learned to Well had the boding tremblers learned to trace glow,
The day's disasters in his morning face; And quite forgot their vices in their woe; Full well they laughed, with counterfeited glee, Careless their merits or their faults to scan, At all his jokes, for many a joke had he; His pity gave ere charity began.
Full well the busy whisper, circling round,
Conveyed the dismal tidings when he frowned ; Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride, Yet he was kind — or, if severe in aught, And e'en his failings leaned to virtue's side; The love he bore to learning was in fault. But in his duty prompt at every call,
The village all declared how much he knew; He watched and wept, he prayed and felt for all; 'Twas certain he could write, and cipher too; And, as a bird each fond endearment tries
Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage, To tempt its new-fledged offspring to the skies, And e'en the story ran that he could gauge. He tried each art, reproved each dull delay, In arguing, too, the parson owned his skill, Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way. For, e'en though vanquished, he could argue still;
While words of learned length and thundering Beside the bed where parting life was laid,
sound And sorrow, guilt, and pain, by turns dismayed, Amazed the gazing rustics ranged around; The reverend champion stood. At his control And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew, Despair and anguish fled the struggling soul; That one small head could carry all he knew. Comfort came down the trembling wretch to raise, But past is all his fame; the very spot, And his last faltering accents whispered praise. Where many a time he triumphed, is forgot.
At church, with meek and unaffected grace, His looks adorned the venerable place;
Near yonder thorn, that lifts its head on high, Where once the sign-post caught the passing eye,