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While beasts with man divided empire claim, No more thy glassy brook reflects the day,
The hollow-sounding bittern guards its nest ;
Amidst thy desert walks the lapwing flies, To stop too fearful, and tou faint to go,
And tires their echoes with unvaried cries. Casts a long look where England's glories shine, Sunk are thy bow'rs in shapeless ruin all, And bids his bosom sympathize with mine. And the long grass o'ertops the mould'ring wall,
Vain, very vain, my weary search to find And, trembling, shrinking from the spoiler's hand That bliss which only centres in the mind. Far, far away thy children leave the land. Why have I stray'd from pleasure and repose, Ill fares the land, to bast'ning ills a prey, To seek a good each government bestows ? Where wealth accumulates, and men decay; In ev'ry government, though terrors reign,
Princes and lords may flourish, or may fade ; Though tyrant kings or tyrant laws restrain, A breath can make them, as a breath has made : How small, of all that human hearts endure, But a bold peasantry, their country's pride, That part which laws or kings can cause or cure! When once destroy'd, can never be supplied. Still to ourselves in every place consign'd,
A time there was, ere England's griefs began, Our own felicity we make or find :
When ev'ry rood of ground maintain'd its man; With secret course, which no loud storms annoy, For him light labor spread her wholesome store, Glides the smooth current of domestic joy.
Just gave what life requir'd, but gave no more : The lifted ax, the agonizing wheel,
His best companions, innocence and health ;
Along the lawn, where scatter'd hamlets rose,
And ev'ry want to luxury allied,
And ev'ry pang that folly pays to pride.
Those gentle hours that plenty bade to bloom,
Thy glades forlorn confess the tyrant's pow's.
Amidst thy tangling walks and ruin'd grounds, The shelter'd cot, the cultivated farm,
And, many a year elaps d, return to view The never-failing brook, the busy mill,
Where once the cottage stood, the hawthorn gren The decent church that topt the neighb'ring hill, Remembrance wakes with all her busy train, The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade, Swells at my breast, and turns the past to pain. For talking age and whisp'ring lovers made!
In all my wand'rings round this world of care, How often have I bless'd the coming day, In all my griefs-and God has giv'n my shareWhen toil remitting lent its turn to play,
I still had hopes my latest hours to crown, And all the village train, from labor free,
Amidst these humble bow'rs to lay me down ; Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree : To husband out life's taper at the close, While many a pastime circled in the shade, And keep the flame from wasting, by repose : The young contending as the old survey'd; I still had hopes, for pride attends us still, And many a gambol frolick'd o'er the ground, Amidst the swains to show my book-learn'd skill And sleights of art and feats of strength went round; Around my fire an ev'ning group to draw, And still, as each repeated pleasure tir'd,
And tell of all I felt, and all I saw; Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspir'd. And, as a hare, whom hounds and horns pursue The dancing pair that simply sought renown, Pants to the place from whence at first she flew, By holding out to tire each other down;
I still had hopes, my long vexations past, The swain mistrustless of his smulted face, Here to return—and die at home at last. While secret laughter titter'd round the place; O blest retirement, friend to life's decline, The bashful virgin's sidelong looks of love, Retreats from care, that never must be mine, The matron's glance that would those looks reprove: How blest is he who crowns, in shades like these These were thy charms, sweet village ! sports like A youth of labor with an age of ease; these
Who quits a world where strong temptations try With sweet succession, taught e'en toil to please ; And, since 'tis hard to combat, learns to fly! These round thy bow'rs their cheerful influence shed, For, him no wretches, born to work and weep, These were thy charms—but all these charms are fled. Explore the mine, or tempt the dang'rous deep;
Sweet smiling village, loveliest of the lawn, No surly porter stands, in guilty state,
Angels around befriending virtue's friend;
And, all his prospects bright'ning to the last, Truth from his lips prevail'd with double sway, His heav'n commences ere the world be past. And fools, who came to scoff, remain'd to pray.
Sweet was the sound, when oft at ev'ning's close, The service past, around the pious man, Up yonder hill the village murmur rose ;
With steady zeal, each honest rustic ran : There, as I pass'd with careless steps and slow, Ev'n children follow'd, with endearing wile, The mingling notes came soften'd from below; And pluck'd his gown, to share the good man's The swain responsive as the milk-maid sung,
smile; The sober herd that low'd to meet their young ; His ready smile a parent's warmth exprest, The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the pool, Their welfare pleas'd him, and their cares distrest. The playful children just let loose from school : To them his heart, his love, his riefs, were givin, The watch-dog's voice that bay'd the whisp'ring But all his serious thoughts had rest in Heav'n. wind,
As some tall cliff, that lifts its awful form, And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind; Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm These all in sweet confusion sought the shade, Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread, And fillid each pause the nightingale had made. Eternal sun-shine settles on its head. But now the sounds of population fail,
Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way No cheerful murmurs fluctuate in the gale, With blossom'd furze, unprofitably gay, No busy steps the grass-grown footway tread, There, in his noisy mansion, skill'd to rule, But all the blooming flush of life is fled :
The village master taught his little school : All but yon widow'd, solitary thing,
A man severe he was, and stern to view, That feebly bends beside the plashy spring; I knew him well, and every truant knew; She, wretched matron, forc'd in age, for bread, Well had the boding tremblers learn'd to trace To strip the brook with mantling cresses spread, The day's disasters in his morning face; To pick her wintry fagot from the thorn,
Full well they laugh'd with counterfeited glee To seek her nightly shed, and weep till morn: At all his jokes, for many a joke had he; She only left of all the harmless train,
Full well the busy whisper, circling round, The sad historian of the pensive plain.
Convey'd the dismal tidings when he frown'd; Near yonder copse, where once the garden smild, Yet he was kind, or if severe in aught, And still where many a garden-flow'r grows wild, The love he bore to learning was in fault; There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose, The village all declar'd how much he knew; The village preacher's modest mansion rose. 'Twas certain he could write and cipher too; A man he was to all the country dear,
Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage, And passing rich with forty pounds a year; And ev'n the story ran that he could gauge. Remote from towns he ran his godly race, In arguing, too, the parson own'd his skill, Nor e'er had chang’d, nor wish'd to change his place; For ev'n though vanquish'd he could argue still; Unskilful he to fawn, or seek for pow'r,
While words of learned length, and thund'ring By doctrines fashion'd to the varying hour;
sound, Far other aims his heart had learn'd to prize, Amaz’d the gazing rustics rang'd around; More bent to raise the wretched than to rise. And still they gaz'd, and still the wonder grew His house was known to all the vagrant train, That one small head should carry all he knew. He chid their wand'rings, but reliev'd their pain; But past is all his fame. The very spot, The long-remember'd beggar was his guest, Where many a time he triumph'd, is forgot. Whose beard descending swept his aged breast; Near yonder thorn, that lifts its head on high, The ruin'd spendthrift, now no longer proud, Where once the sign-post caught the passing eye, Claim'd kindred there, and had his claims allow'd; Low lies that house where nut-brown draughts The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay,
inspir’d, Sat by his fire, and talk'd the night away ; Where grey-beard mirth and smiling toil retir'd, Wept o'er his wounds, or, tales of sorrow done, Where village statesmen talk'd with looks profound Shoulder'd his crutch, and show'd how fields were And news much older than their ale went round;
Imagination fondly stoops to trace Pleas'd with his guests, the good man learn'd to glow, The parlor splendors of that festive place ; And quite forgot their vices in their woe; The white-wash'd wall, the nicely-sanded floor, Careless their merits or their faults to scan, The varnish'd clock that click'd behind the door; His pity gave ere charity began.
The chest contriv'd a double debt to pay, Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride, A bed by night, a chest of drawers by day; And ev'n his failings lean'd to virtue's side ; The pictures plac'd for ornament and use, But in his duty prompt, at ev'ry call,
The twelve good rules, the royal game of goose ; He watch'd and wept, he pray'd and felt, for all : The hearth, except when winter chill'd the day, And, as a bird each fond endearment tries With aspen boughs, and flowers, and fennel. To tempt its new-fledg'd offspring to the skies,
gay ; He tried each art, reprov'd each dull delay, While broken tea-cups, wisely kept for show, Allur'd to brighter worlds, and led the way. Rang'd o'er the chimney, glistend in a row.
Beside the bed where parting life was laid, Vain transitory splendors! could not all And sorrow, guilt, and pain, by turns dismay'd, Reprieve the tott'ring mansion from its fall! The rev'rend champion stood. At his control, Obscure it sinks, nor shall it more impart Despair and anguish fled the struggling soul; An hour's importance to the poor man's heart; Comfort came down the trembling wretch to raise, Thither no more the peasant shall repair And his last falt'ring accents whisper'd praise. To sweet oblivion of his daily care;
At church, with meek and unaffected grace, No more the farmer's news, the barber's tale, His looks adorn'd the venerable place;
No more the woodman's ballad shall prevail,
No more the smith his dusky brow shall clear, To see each joy the sons of pleasure know,
Sure these denote one universal joy! Unen vied, unmolested, unconfin'd.
Are these thy serious thoughts ?-Ah, turn thine eyes But the long pomp, the midnight masquerade, Where the poor houseless shivering female lies: With all the freaks of wanton wealth array'd, She, once perhaps, in village plenty blest, In these, ere triflers half their wish obtain, Has wept at tales of innocence distrest; The toiling pleasure sickens into pain ;
Her modest looks the cottage might adorn, And, e'en while fashion's brightest arts decoy, Sweet as the primrose peeps beneath the thorn; The heart distrusting asks, if this be joy ?
Now lost to all; her friends, her virtue, fled, Ye friends to truth, ye statesmen, who survey Near her betrayer's door she lays her head, The rich man's joys increase, the poor's decay, And, pinch'd with cold, and shrinking from the 'Tis yours to judge how wide the limits stand
show'r, Between a splendid and a happy land.
With heavy heart deplores that luckless hour, Proud swells the tide with loads of freighted ore, When idly first, ambitious of the town, And shouting Folly hails them from her shore ; She left her wheel and robes of country brown. Iloards e'en beyond the miser's wish abound, Do thine, sweet Auburn, thine, the loveliest train And rich men flock from all the world around. Do thy fair tribes participate her pain ? Yet count our gains. This wealth is but a name E'en now, perhaps, by cold and hunger led, That leares our useful product still the same. At proud men's doors they ask a little bread! Vot so the loss. The man of wealth and pride
To distant climes, a dreary scene, Takes up a space that many poor supplied ; Where half the convex world intrudes between, Space for his lake, his park's extended bounds, Through torrid tracts with fainting steps they go, Space for his horses, equipage, and hounds;
Where wild Altama murmurs to their woe. The robe that wraps his limbs in silken sloth Far diff'rent there from all that charm'd before, Has robb'd the neighb'ring fields of half their The various terrors of that horrid shore; growth;
Those blazing suns that dart a downward ray His seat, where solitary sports are seen,
And fiercely shed intolerable day; Indignant spurns the cottage from the green ; Those matted woods where birds forget to s.ng, Around the world each needful product flies : But silent bats in drowsy clusters cling; For all the luxuries the world supplies :
Those pois'nous fields with rank luxuriance crown'd While thus the land, adorn'd for pleasure all, Where the dark scorpion gathers death around: In barren splendor feebly waits the fall.
Where at each step the stranger fears to wake As some fair female, unadorn’d and plain, The rattling terrors of the vengeful snake; Secure to please while youth confirms her reign, Where crouching tigers wait their hapless prey, Slights ev'ry borrow'd charm that dress supplies, And savage men more murd'rous still than they ; Nor shares with art the triumph of her eyes; While oft in whirls the mad tornado flies, But when those charms are past, for charms are Mingling the ravag'd landscape with the skies. frail,
Far diff'rent these from ev'ry former scene, When time advances, and when lovers fail, The cooling brook, the grassy-vested green, She then shines forth, solicitous to bless,
The breezy covert of the warbling grove, In all the glaring impotence of dress :
That only shelter'd thefts of harmless love. Thus fares the land, by luxury betray'd,
Good Heav'n! what sorrows gloom'd that part. In nature's simplest charms at first array'd;
ing day, But verging to decline, its splendors rise,
That call'd them from their native walks away: Its vistas strike, its palaces surprise ;
When the poor exiles, ev'ry pleasure past, While, scourg'd by famine, from the smiling land Hung round the bow'rs, and fondly look'd thour The mournful peasant leads his humble band ;
last, And while he sinks, without one arm to save, And took a long farewell, and wish'd in vain The country bloomsma garden and a grave! For seats like these beyond the western mair;
Where, then, ah! where shall poverty reside, And shudd'ring still to face the distant deep, To 'scape the pressure of contiguous pride? Return'd and wept, and still return'd to wees If to some common's fenceless limits stray'd, The good old sire the first prepar'd to go He drives his flock to pick the scanty blade, To new-found worlds, and wept for others' pas Those fenceless fields the sons of wealth divide, But for himself, in conscious virtue brave, And e'en the bare-worn common is denied. He only wish'd for worlds beyond the grave
If to the city sped—What waits him there? His lovely daughter, lovelier in her tears, To see profusion that must not share ;
The fond companion of his helpless years, To see ten thousand baneful arts combin'd Silent went next, neglectful of her charms, To pamper luxury, and thin mankind;
And left a lover's for her father's arms.
“Forbear, my son," the hermit cries,
“To tempt the dang’rous gloom; For yonder faithless phantom fies
To lure thee to thy doom.
“Here to the houseless child of want
My door is open still; And though my portion is but scant,
I give it with good-will.
“Then turn to-night, and freely share
Whate'er my cell bestows; My rushy couch and frugal fare,
My blessing and repose. “No flocks that range the valley free
To slaughter I condemn : Taught by that Pow'r that pilies me,
I learn to pity them:
“But from the mountain's grassy side
A guiltless feast I bring; A scrip with herbs and fruits supplied,
And water from the spring.
With louder plaints the mother spoke her woes,
O Luxury! thou curs'd by Heaven's decree,
E'en now the devastation is begun,
And thou, sweet Poetry, thou loveliest maid,
“Then, pilgrim, turn, thy cares forego;
All earth-born cares are wrong: Man wants but little here below,
Nor wants that little long."
Soft as the dew from Heav'n descends,
His gentle accents fell;
And follows to the cell.
Far in a wilderness obscure
The lonely mansion lay ; A refuge to the neighboring poor,
And strangers led astray.
No stores beneath its humble thatch
Requir'd a master's care; The wicket, op'ning with a latch,
Receiv'd the harmless pair.
And now when busy crowds retire
To take their ev'ning rest, The hermit trimm'd his little fire,
And cheer'd his pensive guest :
And spread his vegetable store,
And gaily prest, and smild; And, skill'd in legendary lore,
The ling'ring hours beguild.
Around in sympathetic mirth
Its tricks the kitten tries; The cricket chirrups in the hearth,
The crackling fagot flies. But nothing could a charm impart
To soothe the stranger's woe; For grief was heavy at his heart,
And lears began to flow.
“TURN, gentle hermit of the dale,
And guide my lonely way, To where yon taper cheers the vale
With hospitable ray. “For here forlorn and lost I tread,
With fainting steps and slow; Where wilds, immeasurably spread, Seem length'ning as I go."
His rising cares the hermit spied,
With answ'ring care opprest : "And whence, unhappy youth," he cried “The sorrows of thy breast ?