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Where smiling spring its earliest visit paid,
And parting summer's ling'ring blooms delay'd.
Dear lovely bow'rs of innocence and ease,
Seats of my youth, when ev'ry 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 ev'ry charm,
The shelter'd cot, the cultivated farm,
The never-failing brook, the busy mill,
The decent church that topt the neighb'ring hill,
The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade,
For talking age and whisp'riog lovers 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 paftime circled in the shade,
The young contending as the old survey'd ;
And many a gambol frolic'd o'er the ground,
And Nights of art and feats of strength went round.
And still as each repeated pleasure tir’d,
Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspir'd;
The dancing pair that simply fought renown,
By holding out to tire each other down ;
The swain miltrustless of his smutted face,
While secret laughter titter'd round the place ;
The bashful virgin's fide-long looks of love,
The matror's glance, that would those looks reprove,
These were thy charms, sweet village, sports like these,
With sweet succession, taught ev'n toil to please ;
These round thy bow'rs their cheerful influence shed,
These were thy charms-But all these charms are filed.
Sweet smiling village, loveliest of the lawn,
Thy sports are fied, and all thy charms withdrawn ;
Amidit thy bow'rs the tyrant's hand is seen,
And desolation saddens all thy green:
One only master grasps the whole domain,
And half a tiHage stints thy smiling plain ;
Nor more thy glaffy brook reflects the day,
But, chọak'd with sedges, works its weedy way;
Along thy glades, a folitary guest,
The hollow sounding bittern guards its nest ;
Amidst thy desart walks the lapwing fies,
And tires their echoes with unvary'd cries.
Sunk are thy bow’rs in shapeless roin all,
And the long grafs o'ertops the mould'ring wall,
And, trembling, shrinking from the spoiler's hand,
Far, far away thy children leave the land.
Ill fares the land, to hast'ning ills a prey, Where wealth accumulates, and men decay ;
Princes and lords may Aourislı, or may fade ;
A breath can make them as a breath has made:
But a bold peasantry, their country's pride,
When once destroy'd, can never be supply'd.
A time there was, ere England's grief began,
When ev'ry rood of ground maintain'd its man ;
For him light labour spread her wholesome store,
what life requir'd, but gave no more : His best companions, innocence and health, And his beft riches, ignorance of wealth.
But time's are alter'd ; trade's unfeeling train Ulurp the land and dispoffefs the swain; Along the lawn, where scatter'd hamlet's rose, Unweildy wealth, and cumb'rous pomp repose, And ev'ry want to luxury ally'd, And ev'ry pang that folly pays to pride. These gentle hours that plenty bade to bloom, Those calm desires that alk'd but little room, Those healthful sports that grac'd the peaceful scene, Liv'd in each look, and brighten'd all the green ; These, far departing, seek a kinder shore, And rural mirth and manners are po more.
Sweet AUBURN! parent of the blissful hour, Thy glades forlorn confess the tyrant's pow'r. Here, as I take my folitary rounds, Amidst thy tangling walks, and ruin’d grounds, And, many a year elaps'd, return to view Where once the cottage flood, the bawthorn grew, Remembrance wakes with all her husy train, Swells at my breaft, and turns the past to pain.
In all my wand'rings round this world of care,
In all my griefs—and God has giv’n my farem
I still had hopes my latest hours to crown,
Amidst these humble bow'rs to lay me down;
To husband out life's taper at the close,
And keep the flame from wasting by repose :
I Aill had hopes, for pride attends us itill,
Amidst the swains to hew my book-learn'd skill,
Around my fire an evening group to draw,
And tell of all I felt and all I law;
And, as an hare whom hounds and horns pursue,
Pants to the place from whence at first the few,
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,
Retreats from care, that never must be mine,
How blest is he who crowns in shades like these,
A youth of labour with an age of ease ;
Who quits a world where itrong 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 ftate,
To fpurn 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 Nopes the way ;
And all his profpečts bright’ning to the last,
His Heav'n commences ere the world be past ;
Swect was the found, when oft at ev'ning's close,
Up yonder hill the village murmur rose;
There, as I past with careless steps and Now,
The mingling notes came foften d from below;
The swain responsive as the milk-maid sung,
The fober herd that low'd to meet their young ;
The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the pool,
The playful children jutt let loose from school;
The watch- log's voice that bay'd the whisp'ring wind,
And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind:
'Thefe all in sweet confusion sought the shade,
Aud fill'd each pause the nightingale had made.
For now the founds of population fail,
No chearful murmurs flu&uate in the gale,
No busy steps the grass-grown foot-way tread,
But all the bloomy Hush of life is filed.
All but yon widow'd solitary thing,
That feebly bends besides the plashy spring ;
She, wretched matron, forc'd, in age, for bread,
To ftrip the brook with mantling creffes spread,
To pick her wintry faggot from the thorn,
To leek her nightly shed, and weep till morn,
She only left of all the harmless train,
The fad historian of the pensive plain.
Near yonder copse, where once the garden (mild, And ftill where many a garden flow'r grows wild : There, where a few torn Thrubs the place disclose, The village preacher's modest manfion rofe. A man he was, to all the country dear, And paffing rich with forty pounds a year ; Remote from towns he ran his godly race, Nor ere had chang'd, nor wilh'd to change his place, Unskilful he to fawn, or seek for pow'r, By doctrines fashion'd to the varying hour; Far other aims his heart hath learn to prize, More bent to raise the wretched than to risc. His house was known to all the vagrant train, He chid their wand'rings, 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 stay, Sate by his fire, and talk'd the night away ; Wept o'er his wounds, or tales of forrow done, Shoulder'd his crutch, and shew'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;