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With uncouth rhymes and shapeless seulpture deck'd,
Implores the pafling tribute of a figh. Their name, their years, spelt by th' unletter'd muse,
The place of fame and, elegy supply : And many a holy text around the strewe,
That teach the rustic moralift to die : For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing, anxious being e'er resign'd, Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing, lingering look behind ? On some fond breast the parting fout relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires :
E'en from the tomb the voice of nature cries,
E'en in our alhes live their wonted fires.
For thee, who mindful of th' unhonour'd dead,
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
If, chance, by lonely contemplation led,
Some kindred fpirit Mall inquire thy fate, Haply some hoary-headed swain may fay,
Oft have we feen him at the peep of dawn, Brushing, with hafty steps, the dews away,
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn. There at the foot of yonder nodding beech,
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high, His listless length at noon-tide would he stretch,:.
And pour upon the brook that bubbles by. Hard by yon wood, now smiling, as in scorn, Mutt'ring
his wayward fancies he would rove : Now drooping woful, wan, like one forlorn,
Or craz'd with care, or cross'd in hopeless love. One morn I miss'a him on th' accustom'd hill
Along the heath, and near his fav'rite tree : Another came ; nor yet beside the rill,
Nor the lawn, nor at the wood was he. The next, with dirges due, in fad array,
Slow thro' the church-yard path we saw him borne : Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay,
Grav'd on the ftone beneath yon aged thorn :"
Here rests his head upon the lap of earth,
A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown ; Fair Science frown'd not on his humble birth,
And Melancholy mark'd him for her own.
Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
Heav'n did a recompense as largely tend : He gave to Misery all he had, a tear ;
He gain’a from Heav'n ('twas all he wilh'd) a friend. No farther feek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, (There they alike in trembling hope repose,) The bolom of his Father and his God.
The deserted village.
Sweet Auburn ! lovelielt village of the plain,
Where health and plenty cheer'd the lab'ring fwain :
Where smiling spring its earliest visits paid,
And parting summer's ling'ring blooms 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 failing brook, the busy mill,
The decent church that topp'd the neighb'ring hill,
The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade,
For talking age and youthful converse made!
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 sports beneath the spreading tree ;
While many a pastime circled in the shade,
The young contending as the old survey'd ;
And many a gambol frolick'd o'er the ground,
And fleights of art and feats of strength went round.
These were thy charms, sweet village ! sports like these,
With sweet fucceflion, taught e'en toil to please ;
These round thy bow'rs their cheerful influence shed;
These were thy charms, but all these charms are fed.
Sweet smiling village ! loveliest of the lawn,
Thy sports are fled, and all thy charms withdrawn;
Amidst thy bow'rs the tyrant's hand is feen,
And defolation faddens 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 fedges, works its weedy way ;
Along thy glades, a solitary guest,
The hollow-founding bittern guard its neft ;
Amidst thy defert walks, the lapwing flies,
And tires their echoes with unvaried cries.
Sunk are thy bow'rs in shapeless ruin all,
And the long grafs o'ertops the mould'ring wall ;
And trembling, fhrinking from the fpoiler's hand,
Far, far away thy children leave the land.
ill fares the land, to haltening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates, and mien decay.
Princes and lords may flourish, or may fade ;
A breath can make them, as a breath has made ;
But a bold peasantry, iheir 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 ;
Just 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 difpoffefs the fwain. Along the lawn, where scatter'd hamlets rose, Unwieldy wealth and cumb'rous pomp repose ; And every want to luxury allied, And every pang that folly pays to pride. Those gentle hours that plenty bade to bloom, Those calm desires that ask'd but little room. Those healthful sports that grac'd the peaceful scene, Liv'd in each look, and brighten'd all the greenThese, far departing, seek a kinder shore, And rural mirth and manners are no more.
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 grew: Remembrance wakes with all her busy train, Swells at my breast, and turns the palt to pain.
In all my wand'ring's round this world of carey. In all my griefs--and God has giv'n my shareI still had hopes, my latest hours to crown, Amid these humble bowers to lay me down ;
To husband out life's taper at the close,
And keep the flame from wasting, by repose :
I still had hopes, for pride attends us fill,
Amidst the fwains to how my book-learn'd skill :
Around my fire an evening group to draw,
And tell of all I felt, and all I saw :.
And as a hare, whom hounds and harns pursue,
Pants to the place from whence at first he flew,
I still had hopes, my long vexations paft,
Here to return-and die at home at last.
O bleft retirement, friend to life's decline,
Retreat from care, that never must be mine!
How blest is he, who crowns, in shades like thefer
A youth of labour with an age of eafe ;
Who quits a world where strong 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 stands in guilty state,
To spurn imploring famine from the gate ;
But on he moves to meet his latter end,
Angels around befriending virtue'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 evening's close,
Up yonder hill the village murmur rose ;
There as I pafs'd with careless steps and flow,
The mingling notes came foften'd from below;
The swain, responsive as the milk-maid fung,
The fober herd that low'd to meet their young,
The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the pool,
The playful children just let loose from school,
The watch-dog's voice that bay'd the whispering wind,
And the loud laugh, that spoke the vacant mind ;
These all in sweet confusion fought 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 buly steps the grass-grown footway tread,
But all the blooming flush of life is fled :
All but yon widow'd solitary thing,
That feebly bends beside the plafhy spring ;
She, wretched matron ! forc'd in age, for bread,
To trip the brook with mantling cresses fpread,
To pick her wintry fagot from the thorn,
To leek ber nightly shed, and weep till morn ;
She only left of all the harmless train,
The fad historian of the penfive plain !
Near yonder copse, where once the garden fmild,
And fill where many a garden Aower grow. wild,
There where a few torn shrubs the place disclose,
The village preacher's modest manlion rose.
A man he was, to all the country dear,
And paffing rich with forty pounds a year :
Remore from towns he ran his godly race,
Nor c'er had chang'd, nor with
d to change his place.
Unskillful he to fawn or seek for power,
By doctrines fashion's to the varying hour ;
Far other aims his heart had learn’d to prize,
More bent to raise the wretched than to rise.
His house was known to all the
He chid their wanderings, but reliev'd their pain.
The long remember'd beggar was his guest,
Whose beard descending swept his aged breast ;
The ruin'd spendthrift, now no longer proud,
Claim'd kindred there, and had his claims allow'd :
The broken soldier kindly bade to ftay,
Sat by his fire, and talk'd the night away ;
Wept o'er his wounds, or, tales of forrow done,
Shoulder'd his crutch, and show'd how fields were won.
Pleas'd with his guests, the good man learn'd to glow,
And quite forgot their vices in their wo :
Careless their merits or their faults to scan,
His pity gave ere charity began.
Thus to relieve the wretched was bis pride,
And e'en his failings lean’d to virtue's side :
But, in his duty prompt at every call,
He watch'd and wept, he pray'd and felt for all :
And, as, a bird each fond endearment tries,
To tempt her new-fledg'd offspring to the skies ;
He tried each art, reprov'd each dull delay,
Allur'd to brighter worlds, and led the way.
Beside the bed, where parting life was laid,
And sorrow, guilt, and pain, by turns dismay'd,
The rev'rend champion stood. At his control
Despair and anguila Aed the Atruggling soul ;