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Luke's iron crown, and Damien's bed of steel, Princes and lords may flourish, or may fade;
When once destroy'd, can never be supply'd.
A time there was, ere England's griefs began, THE DESERTED VILLAGE. 1769. When every rood of ground maintain'd its man;
For him light labour spread her wholesome store, Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain,
what life requir'd, but gave no more: Where health and plenty cheer'd the labouring His best companions, innocence and health, swain,
And his best riches, ignorance of wealth. Where smiling spring its earliest visit paid,
But times are alter'd; trade's unfeeling train And parting summer's ling’ring blooms delay'd; Usurp the land, and dispossess the swain; Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease,
Along the lawn, where scatter'd hamlets rose, seats of my youth, when every sport could please; Unwieldy wealth and cumb'rous pomp repose ; low often have I loiter'd o'er thy green,
And every want to luxury ally'd, Where humble happiness endear'd each scene! And every pang that folly pays to pride. low often have I paus'd on every charm,
Those gentle hours that plenty bade to bloom, The shelter'd cot, the cultivated farm,
Those calm desires that ask'd but little room, The never-failing brook, the busy mill,
Those healthful sports that grac'd the peaceful scene, Che decent church that topt the neighb'ring hill, Livd in each look, and brighten'd all the green ; Che hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade, These, far departing, seek a kinder shore, 'or talking age and whisp’ring lovers made ! And rural mirth and manners are no more. low often have I blest the coming day,
Sweet Auburn! parent of the blissful hour, When toil remitting lent its turn to play,
Thy glades forlorn confess the tyrant's power. And all the village train, from labour free,
Here, as I take my solitary rounds, ed up their sports beneath the spreading tree, Amidst thy tangling walks, and ruin'd grounds, While many a pastime circled in the shade,
And, many a year elaps’d, return to view Che young contending as the old survey'd; Where once the cottage stood, the hawthorn grew, Ind many a gambol frolick'd o'er the ground, Remembrance wakes with all her busy train, Ind sleights of art and feats of strength went round; Swells at my breast, and turns the past to pain. And still as each repeated pleasure tir'd,
In all my wand'rings round this world of care, jucceeding sports the mirthful band inspir’d. In all my griefs—and God has giv'n my shareChe dancing pair that simply sought renown, I still had hopes my latest hours to crown, By holding out, to tire each other down;
Amidst these humble bowers to lay me down; The swain mistrustless of his smutted face,
To husband out life's taper at the close,' While secret laughter titter'd round the place; And keep the flame from wasting by repose: The bashful virgin's sidelong looks of love,
I still had hopes, for pride attends us still, The matron'sglance thatwould those looks reprove Amidst the swains to show my book-learn’d skill, These were thy charms, sweet village ! sports like Around my fire an evening group to draw, these,
And tell of all I felt, and all I saw; With sweet succession, taught ev'n toil to please ; And, as an hare whom hounds and horns pursue, These round thy bowers their cheerful influence
Pants to the place from whence at first he flew, shed,
(Aed. I still had hopes, my long vexations past, These were thy charms—But all these charms are
Here to return-and die at home at last. Sweet smiling village, loveliest of the lawn,
O blest retirement, friend to life's decline, * Thy sports are fled, and all thy charms withdrawn; Retreats from care that never must be mine, Amidst thy bowers the tyrant's hand is seen, How blest is he who crowns in shades like these, And desolation saddens all thy green:
A youth of labour with an age of ease; One only master grasps the whole domain,
Who quits a world where strong temptations try, And half a tillage stints thy smiling plain ;
And, since 'tis hard to combat, learns to fly! No more thy glassy brook reflects the day,
For him no wretches, born to work and weep, But, chok'd with sedges, works its weedy way; Explore the mine, or tempt the dang’rous deep; Along thy glades, a solitary guest,
No surly porter stands in guilty state, The hollow-sounding bittern guards its nest; To spurn imploring famine from the gate; Amidst thy desert walks the lapwing flies,
But on he moves to meet his latter end, * And tires their echoes with unvary'd cries.
Angels around befriending virtue's friend; Sunk are thy bowers in shapeless ruin all,
Sinks to the grave with unperceiv'd decay, And the long grass o'ertops the mould'ring wall; While resignation gently slopes the way; And, trembling, shrinking from the spoiler's hand,
And, all his prospects bright’ning to the last, Far, far away thy children leave the land.
His heaven commences ere the world be past ! 111 fares the land, to hast’ning ills a prey,
Sweet was the sound, when, oft at ev’ning's close, Where wealth accumulates, and men decay; Up yonder hill the village murmur rose:
Where gray-beard mirth, and smiling toil retir'd;
The varnish'd clock that click'd behind the door;
There, as I past with careless steps and slow, Comfort came down the trembling wretch to rex The mingling notes came soften'd from below; And his last fault'ring accents whisper'd prais. The swain responsive as the milkmaid sung,
At church, with meek and unaffected grace, The sober herd that low'd to meet their young,
His looks adorn'd the venerable place; The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the pool,
Truth from his lips prevail'd with double sway, The playful children just let loose from school, And fools, wbo came to scoff, remain'd to pray. The watch-dog's voice that bay'd the whisp'ring
The service past, around the pious man, wind,
With ready zeal, each honest rustic ran; And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind;
Even children follow'd with endearing wile, These all in sweet confusion sought the shade,
And pluck'd his gown, to share the good man's smie. And fill'd each pause the nightingale had made.
His ready smile a parent's warmth exprest, But now the sounds of population fail,
Their welfare pleas'd bim, and their cares distres: No cheerful murmurs fluctuate in the gale,
To them his heart, bis love, his griefs were given, No busy steps the grass-grown foot-way tread, But all his serious thoughts had rest in heaven: But all the bloomy flush of life is fled.
As some tall cliff that lifts its awful form, All but yon widow'd, solitary thing,
Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm. That feebly bends beside the plashy spring; Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread. She, wretched matron, forc'd, in age, for bread, Eternal sunshine settles on its head. To strip the brook with mantling cresses spread, Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way, To pick her wint'ry faggot from the thorn,
With blossom'd furze unprofitably gay, To seek her nightly shed, and weep till morn; There, in his noisy mansion skill'd to rule, She only left of all the harmless train,
The village master taught his little school. The sad historian of the pensive plain.
A man severe he was, and stern to view, Nearyonder copse, where once the garden smild, I knew him well, and every truant knew; And still where many a garden flower grows wild; Well had the boding tremblers learn'd to trace There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose, The day's disasters in his morving face; The village preacher's modest mansion rose. Full well they laugh'd with counterfeited glee A man he was, to all the country dear,
At all his jokes, for many a joke had be; And passing rich with forty pounds a-year; Full well the busy whisper circling round, Remote from towns he ran his godly race,
Convey'd the dismal tidings when he frown'd; Nore'er had chang'd nor wish'd to change his place; Yet he was kind, or if severe in aught, Unskilful he to fawn, or seek for power,
The love he bore to learning was in fault; By doctrines fashion'd to the varying hour; The village all declar'd how much he knew; Far other aims his heart had learn'd to prize, 'Twas certain he could write, and cypher too, More bent to raise the wretched than to rise. Lands he could measure, terms and tides preseçe, His house was known to all the vagrant train, And even the story ran that he could guage: He chid their wand'rings, but reliev'd their pain; In arguing too, the parson own'd his skill, The long-remember'd beggar was his guest, For even though vanquish’d, he could argue sti: Whose beard descending swept his aged breast; While words of learned length, and thund'ring The ruin'd spendthrift, now no longer proud,
sound, Claim'd kindred there, and had his claims allow'd; Amaz'd the gazing rustics rang'd around, The broken soldier, kindly bid to stay,
And still they gaz'd, and still the wonder grew, Sat by his fire, and talk'd the night away ;
That one small head could carry all he knew. Wept o'er his wounds, or, tales of sorrow done, But past is all his fame. The very spot Shoulder'd his crutch , and show'd how fields were Where many a time he triumph’d, is forgot.
(glow, Near yonder thorn, that lifts its head on high, Pleas'd with his guests, the good man learn'd to Where once the sign-post caught the passing er And quite forgot their vices in their woe;
Low lies that house where nut-brown draughts si Careless their merits or their faults to scan,
spir'd, His pity gave ere charity began.
Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride, And even his failings lean'd to virtue's side; But in his duty prompt at every call,
Imagination fondly stoops to trace
The parlour splendours of that festive place;
A bed by night, a chest of drawers by day;
The pictures plac'd for ornament and use, And sorrow, guilt, and pain, by turns dismay'd,
The twelve good rules, the royal game of gosti The rev'rend champion stood. At his controul The hearth, except when winter chill'd the day Despair and anguish fled the struggling soul;.
With aspen boughs, and flowers and fennel Foro
While broken tea-cups, wisely kept for show,' In nature's simplest charms at first array'd,
Its vistas strike, its palaces surprise;
The mournful peasant leads his humble band; An hour's importance to the poor man's heart. And while he sinks, without one arm to save, Thither no more the peasant shall repair,
The country blooms—a garden, and a grave. To sweet oblivion of his daily care;
Where then, ah! where shall poverty reside, No more the farmer's news, the barber's tale, To 'scape the pressure of contiguous pride? No more the woodman's ballad shall prevail ; If to some common's fenceless limits stray'd, No more the smith his dusky brow shall clear, He drives his flock to pick the scanty blade, Relax his pond'rous strength, and lean to hear; Those fenceless fields the sons of wealth divide, The host himself no longer shall be found
And even the bare-worn common is deny'd. Careful to see the mantling bliss go round;
If to the city sped—What waits him there? Nor the coy maid, half willing to be prest,
To see profusion that he must not share; Shall kiss the cup to pass it to the rest.
To see ten thousand baneful arts combin'd Yes! let the rich deride, the proud disdain, To pamper luxury, and thin mankind; These simple blessings of the lowly train,
To see each joy the sons of pleasure know, To me more dear, congenial to my heart,
Extorted from his fellow-creature's woe. One native charm, than all the gloss of art.
Here while the courtier glitters in brocade, Spontaneous joys, where nature has its play, There the pale artist plies the sickly trade; The soul adopts, and owns their first-born sway: Here while the proud their long-drawn pomps disLightly they frolic o'er the vacant mind,
play, Unenvy'd, unmolested, unconfin’d.
There the black gibbet glooms beside the way. But the long pomp, the midnight masquerade, The dome where pleasure holds her midnight reign, With all the freaks of wanton wealth array'd, Here, richly deckt, admits the gorgeous train; In these, ere triflers half their wish obtain,
Tumultuous grandeur crowds the blazing square, The toiling pleasure sickens into pain;
The rattling chariots clash, the torches glare. And, even while fashion's brightest arts decoy, Sure scenes like these no troubles e'er annoy! The heart distrusting asks, if this be joy?
Sure these denote one universal joy! Ye friends to truth, ye statesmen who survey Are these thy serious thoughts-Ah, turn thine eyes, The rich man's joys increase, the poor's decay, Where the poor houseless shiv'ring female lies. 'Tis yours to judge, how wide the limits stand She once, perhaps, in village plenty blest, Between a splendid and an happy land.
Has wept at tales of innocence distrest; Proud swells the tide with loads of freighted ore,
Her modest looks the cottage might adorn, And shouting folly hails them from her shore; Sweet as the primrose peeps beneath the thorn; Hoards, even beyond the miser's wish, abound, Now lost to all; her friends, her virtue fled; And rich men flock from all the world around. Near her betrayer's door she lays her head, Yet count our gains. This wealth is but a name, And, pinch'd with cold, and shrinking from the That leaves our useful product still the same.
shower, Not so the loss. The man of wealth and pride, With heavy heart deplores that luckless hour, Takes up a space that many poor supply'd ;
When idly first, ambitious of the town, Space for his lake, his park's extended bounds, She left her wheel and robes of country brown. Space for his horses, equipage, and hounds;
Do thine, sweet Auburn, thine, the loveliest train, The rote that wraps his limbs in silken sloth, Do thy fair tribes participate her pain? Has robb’d the neighbouring fields of half their Even now, perhaps, by cold and hunger led, growth;
At proud men's doors they ask a little bread! His seat, where solitary sports are seen,
Ah, no. To distant climes a dreary scene, Indignant spurns the cottage from the green ; Where half the convex world intrudes between, Around the world each needful product flies, Through torrid tracts with fainting steps they go, For all the luxuries the world supplies.
Where wild Altama murmurs to their woe. While thus the land adorn’d for pleasure all, Far different there from all that charm'd before, In barren splendour feebly waits the fall.
The various terrors of that horrid shore; As some fair female unadorn'd and plain, Those blazing suns that dart a downward ray, Secure to please while youth confirms her reign, And fiercely shed intolerable day; Slights every borrow'd charm that dress supplies, Those matted woods where birds forget to sing, Nor shares with art the triumph of her eyes; But silent bats in drowsy clusters cling; But when those charms are past, for charms are frail, Those pois'nous fields with rank luxuriance crown'd, When time advances, and when lovers fail,
Where the dark scorpion gathers death around; She then shines forth, solicitous to bless,
Where at each step the stranger fears to wake In all the glaring impotence of dress :
The rattling terrors of the vengeful snake ; Thus fares the land, by luxury betray'd,
Where crouching tigers wait their hapless prey,
'Twas a neck and a breast that might rival Monroe's
And he smil'd as he look'd at the venison and me
And savage men more murd'rous still than they; Farewell, and O! where'er thy voice be try'd,
On Torno's cliffs, or Pambamarca's side,
Or winter wraps the polar world in snow, The cooling brook, the grassy-vested green,
Still let thy voice, prevailing over time, The breezy covert of the warbling grove,
Redress the rigours of th’inclement clime; That only shelter'd thefts of harmless love.
Aid slighted truth with thy persuasive strain; Good Heaven! what sorrows gloom'd that part Teach erring man to spurn the rage of gaja; ing day,
Teach him, that states of native strength postest
, - That call'd them from their native walks away; Though very poor, may still be very blest; When the poor exiles, every pleasure past,
That trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay, Hung round the bowers, and fondly look'd their last, As ocean sweeps the labour'd mole away; And took a long farewell, and wish'd in vain While self-dependent power can time defy, For seats like these beyond the western main ; As rocks resist the billows and the sky. And shudd'ring still to face the distant deep, Return’d and wept, and still return’d to weep. The good old sire the first prepar'd to go To new-found worlds, and wept for other's woe;
THE HAUNCH OF VENISON. But for himself, in conscious virtue brave,
A POETICAL EPISTLE TO LORD CLARE. 1763. He only wish'd for worlds beyond the grave. His lovely daughter, lovelier in her tears,
Thanks, my lord, for your venison, for finer or later The fond companion of his helpless years,
Never rang'd in a forest, or smok'd in a platter; Silent went next, neglectful of her charms,
The haunch was a picture for painters to study, And left a lover's for a father's arms.
The fat was so white, and the lean was so reddy; With louder plaints the mother spoke her woes,
Though my stomach was sharp, I could scarce bez And blest the cot where every pleasure rose;
regretting And kiss'd her thoughtless babes with many a tear, To spoil such a delicate picture by eating; And claspt them close, in sorrow doubly dear;
I had thoughts, in my chambers, to place it in view, Whilst her fond husband strove to lend relief, To be shown to my friends as a piece of verta; In all the silent manliness of grief.
As in some Irish houses, where things are so $9 O, luxury! thou curst by Heaven's decree,
One gammon of bacon hangs up for a show: How ill exchang'd are things like these for thee !
But, for eating a rasher of what they take pride is, How do thy potions with insidious joy,
They'd as soon think of eating the pan it is fr’die Diffuse their pleasures only to destroy!
But hold—let me pause-don't I hear you pronouncer Kingdoms by thee, to sickly greatness grown,
This tale of the bacon's a damnable bounce; Boast of a florid vigour not their own.
Well, suppose it a bounce-sure a poet may try, At every draught more large and large they grow, By a bounce now and then, to get courage to bý. A bloated mass of rank unwieldy woe;
But, my lord, it's no bounce. I protest in my tutan Till sapp'd their strength, and every part unsound,
It's a truth-and your lordship may ask Mr. Barna Down, down they sink, and spread a ruin round.
To go on with my tale-as I gaz'd on the banned
, Even now the devastation is begun,
I thought of a friend that was trusty and staunek; And half the business of destruction done;
So I cut it, and sent it to Reynolds undrest, Even now, methinks, as pond'ring here I stand,
To paint it, or eat it, just as he lik'd best. I see the rural virtues leave the land.
Of the neck and the breast I had next to dispose;
But in parting with these I was
For making a blunder, or picking a bone.
But hang it—to poets who seldom can eat,
Your very good mutton's a very good treat;
While thus I debated, in reverie center'd,
An under-bred, fine-spoken fellow was he,
<< What have we got here?-why, this is good eating! A prettier dinner I never set eyes on; Your own I suppose :-or is it in waiting?"
Pray a slice of your liver, though may I be curst, “Why, whose should it be?” cried I with a flounce But l've eat of your tripe, till I'm ready to burst.” “ I get these things often;" but that was a bounce : “ The tripe," quoth the Jew, with his chocolate “ Some lords, my acquaintance, that settle the nation, cheek, Are pleas'd to be kind; but I hate ostentation.” “ I could dine on this tripe seven days in the week:
“ If that be the case then,” cried he, very gay, I like these here dinners so pretty and small; * I'm glad I have taken this house in my way. But your friend there, the doctor, eats nothing at all.” To-morrow you take a poor dinner with me; “O-Oh!" quoth my friend, “ he'll come on in a No words—I insist on’t-precisely at three:
trice, We'll have Johnson, and Burke ; all the wits will He's keeping a corner for something that's nice : be there;
There's a pasty”—“ A pasty!" repeated the Jew; My acquaintauce is slight, or I'd ask my Lord Clare. “ I don't care, if I keep a corner for't too.” And, now that I think on't, as I am a sinner, “ What the de'il, mon, a pasty !" re-echo'd the Scot; We wanted this venison to make out the dinner! Though splitting, I'll still keep a corner for that.” What say you—a pasty, it shall and it must, “We'll all keep a corner," the lady cried out; And my wife, little Kitty, is famous for crust. “ We'll all keep a corner," was echo'd about. flere, porter—this venison with me to Mile-end; While thus we resolv'd, and the pasty delay'd, No stirring, I beg, my dear friend, my dear friend!” With looks that quite petrified, enter'd the maid: Thus snatching his hat, he brush'd off like the wind, A visage so sad, and so pale with affright, And the porter and eatables follow'd behind. Wak'd Priam in drawing his curtains by night.
Left alone to reflect, having emptied my shelf, But we quickly found out, for who could mistake And “nobody with me at sea but myself;"
her? Though I could not help thinking my gentleman That she came with some terrible news from the hasty,
baker: Yet Johnson, and Burke, and a good venison pasty, And so it fell out, for that negligent sloven Were things that I never dislik'd in my life, Had shut out the pasty on shutting his oven. Though clogg'd with a coxcomb, and Kitty his wife. Sad Philomel thus—but let similes dropSo next day in due splendour to make my approach, And now that I think on't, the story may stop. I drove to his door in my own hackney coach. To be plain, my good lord, it's but labour misplac'd,
When come to the place where we all were to dine To send such good verses to one of your taste; 'A chair-lumber'd closet just twelve feet by nine,) You've got an odd something-a kind of discernMy friend bade me welcome, but struck me quite ingdumb,
A relish-a taste-sicken'd over by learning; With tidings that Johnson and Burke would not At least, it's your temper, as very well known, come;
That you think very slightly of all that's your own: For “ I knew it,” he cried, “ both eternally fail, So, perhaps, in your habits of thinking amiss, l'he one with his speeches, and th' other with You may make a mistake, and think slightly of this.
united. While thus he described them by trade and by name, If our landlord supplies us with beef and with fish, They enter'd, and dinner was serv'd as they came. Let each guest bring himself, and he brings the best At the top a fried liver, and bacon were seen,
dish. At the bottom was tripe, in a swinging tureen; Our Dean shall be venison, just fresh from the plains; At the sides there was spinage and pudding made Our Burke shall be tongue, with a garnish of brains; hot;
Our Will shall be wild fowl, of excellent flavour, in the middle a place where the pasty-was not. And Dick with his pepper shall heighten their saNow, my lord, as for tripe it's my utter aversion, And your bacon I hate like a Turk or a Persian Our Cumberland's sweetbread its place shall obtain; so there I sat stuck, like a horse in a pound, And Douglas is pudding, substantial and plain: While the bacon and liver went merrily round: Our Garrick's a sallad; for in him we see Bot what vex'd me most, was that d-m'd Scottish Oil, vinegar, sugar, and saltness agree: rogue,
To make out the dinner, full certain I am, With his long-winded speeches, his smiles, and his That Ridge is anchovy, and Reynolds is lamb; brogue.
That Hickey's a capon, and, by the same rule, Ind, “ madam," quoth he, “ may this bit be my Magnanimous Goldsmith a gooseberry fool. poison,
At a dinner so various, at such a repast,