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Here beggar pride defrauds her daily cheer, Ferments arise, imprison'd factions roar,
Nor this the worst. As nature's ties decay, Embosom'd in the deep where Holland lies. As duty, love, and honor, fail to sway, Methinks her patient sons before me stand, Fictitious bonds, the bonds of wealth and law, Where the broad ocean leans against the land, Still gather strength, and force unwilling awe. And, sedulous to stop the coming tide,
Hence all obedience bows to these alone, List the tall rampire's artificial pride.
And talent sinks, and merit weeps unknown; Onward, methinks, and diligently slow,
Till time may come, when, stript of all her charms, The firm connected bulwark seems to grow; The land of scholars, and the nurse of arms, Spreads its long arms amidst the wat'ry roar, Where noble stems transmit the patriot flame, Scoops out an empire, and usurps the shore: Where kings have toil'd, and poets wrote for fame, While the pent ocean, rising o'er the pile,
One sink of level avarice shall lie,
Yet think not, thus when freedom's ills I state, The willow-tufted bank, the gliding sail,
I mean to flatter kings, or court the great: The crowded mart, the cultivated plain,
Ye pow'rs of truth, that bid my soul aspire, A new creation rescu'd from his reign.
Far from my bosom drive the low desire ! Thus, while around the wave-subjected soil And thou, fair Freedom, taught alike to feel Impels the native to repeated toil,
The rabble's rage, the tyrant's angry steel ; Industrious habits in each bosom reign,
Thou transitory flow'r, alike undone And industry begets a love of gain.
By proud contempt, or favor's fost'ring sun; Hence all the good from opulence that springs, Still may thy blooms the changeful clime endure With all those ills superfluous treasure brings, I only would repress them to secure; Are here display'd. Their much-lov'd wealth For just experience tells, in ev'ry soil, imparts
That those who think must govern those that toil Convenience, plenty, elegance, and arts ;
And all that freedom's highest aims can reach But view them closer, craft and fraud appear, Is but to lay proportion'd loads on each. E'en liberty itself is barter'd here.
Hence, should one order disproportion'd grow, At gold's superior charms all freedom flies, Its double weight must ruin all below. The needy sell it, and the rich man buys;
Oh then how blind to all that truth requires, A land of tyrants, and a den of slaves,
Who think it freedom when a part aspires! Here wretches seek dishonorable graves,
Calm is my soul, nor apt to rise in arms, And, calmly bent, to servitude conform,
Except when fast-approaching danger warms: Dull as their lakes that slumber in the storm. But when contending chiefs blockade the throne,
Heav'ns! how unlike their Belgic sires of old! Contracting regal pow'r to stretch their own; Rough, poor, content, ungovernably bold;
When I behold a factious band agree War in each breast, and freedom on each brow; To call it freedom when themselves are free; How much unlike the sons of Britain now! Each wanton judge new penal statutes draw,
Fir'd at the sound, my genius spreads her wing, Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law; And flies where Britain courts the western spring; The wealth of climes, where savage nations roam Where lawns extend that scorn Arcadian pride, Pillag'd from slaves to purchase slaves at home; And brighter streams than fam'd Hydaspis glide; Fear, pity, justice, indignation, start, There all around the gentlest breezes stray, Tear off reserve, and bare my swelling heart; There gentle music melts on every spray;
Till, half a patriot, half a coward grown, Creation's mildest charms are there combin'd, I fly from petty tyrants to the throne. Extremes are only in the master's mind;
Yes, brother, curse with me that baleful hour, Stern o'er each bosom reason holds her state, When first ambition struck at regal pow'r; With daring aims irregularly great;
And thus, polluting honor in its source, Pride in their port, defiance in their eye, Gave wealth to sway the mind with double force. I see the lords of human-kind pass by ;
Have we not seen, round Britain's peopled shore, Inient on high designs, a thoughtful band, Her useful sons exchang'd for useless ore? By forms unfashion'd, fresh from Nature's hand, Seen all her triumphs but destruction haste, Fierce in their native hardiness of soul,
Like faring tapers bright'ning as they waste? True to imagin'd right, above control;
Seen Opulence, her grandeur to maintain, While e'en the peasant boasts these rights to scan, Lead stern Depopulation in her train, And learns to venerate himself as man.
And over fields where scatter'd hamlets rose, Thine, Freedom, thine the blessings pictur'd In barren solitary pomp repose ? here,
Have we not seen, at Pleasure's lordly call, Thine are those charms that dazzle and endear; The smiling long-frequented village fall ? Too blest indeed were such without alloy; Beheld the duteous son, the sire decay'd, But foster'd e'en by freedom, ills annoy;
The modest matron, and the blushing maid, That independence Britons prize too high, Forc'd from their homes, a melancholy train, Keeps man from man, and breaks the social tie; To traverse climes beyond the western main, The self-dependent lordlings stand alone,
Where wild Oswego spreads her swamps around, All claims that bind and sweeten life unknown; And Niagara stuns with thund'ring sound? Here, by the bonds of nature feebly held,
E'en now, perhaps, as there some pilgrim strays Minds combat minds, repelling and repell'd; Thro' tangled forests, and thro' dangerous ways;
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 too faint to go,
And tires their echoes with unvaried cries.
Vain, very vain, my weary search to find And, trembling, shrinking from the spoiler's hand
Ill fares the land, to hast’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, Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain, Those calm desires that ask'd but little room, Where health and plenty cheer'd the lab'ring swain, Those healthful sports that grac'd the peaceful scene Where smiling Spring its earliest visit paid, Liv'd in each look, and brighten'd all the green; And parting Summer's ling’ring blooms delay'd : These, far departing, seek a kinder shore, Dear lovely bow'rs of innocence and ease,
And rural mirth and manners are no more. Seats of my youth, when ev'ry sport could please : Sweet Auburn! parent of the blissful hour, llow often have I loiter'd o'er thy green, Thy glades forlorn confess the tyrant's pow's. Where humble happiness endear'd each scene! Here, as I take my solitary rounds, Ilow often have I pausd on ev'ry charm,
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-sailing brook, the busy mill,
Where once ihe cottage stood, the hawthorn grew, 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 pasi 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 share When 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-learnd 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 smutted 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, 'Toe 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 brightning 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, Evin children follow'd, with endearing wile, The mingling notes came sosten'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 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 griefs, 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 fill'd each pause the nightingale had made. Eternal sun-shine seules 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 foolway 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 lowns 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 beni 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 lists 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 drauglits '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 retird, 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; won.
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 noor, 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 falı'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 ljes : 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 truth, ye stalesmen, 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. Hoards 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! Not so the loss. The man of wealth and pride Ah, no. 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 sing, 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 thests of harmless love. Thus fares the land, by luxury betray'd,
Good Heav'n! what sorrows gloom'd that periIn 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; Iis 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 their 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 blooms—a garden and a grave! For seats like these beyond the western main;
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 weep. 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' woe; 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 he 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.
With louder plaints the mother spoke her woes,
O Luxury! thou cursd by Heaven's decree,
E'en now the devastation is begun, And half the bus'ness of destruction done; E'en now, meihinks, as pond'ring here I stand, I see the rural virtues leave the land. Down where yon anch'ring vessel spreads the sail, That idly waiting flaps with ev'ry gale, Downward they move, a melancholy band, Pass from the shore, and darken all the strand. Contented toil, and hospitable care, And kind connubial tenderness, are there; And piety with wishes plac'd above, And steady loyalty, and faithful love.
And thou, sweet Poetry, thou loveliest maid, Still first to fly where sensual joys invade! Unfit, in these degen'rate times of shame, To catch the heart, or strike for honest fame, Dear charming nymph, neglected and decried, My shame in crowds, my solitary pride; Thou source of all my bliss, and all my woe, That found'st me poor at first, and keep'st me so; Thou guide, by which the nobler arts excel, Thou nurse of ev'ry virtue, fare thee well; Farewell! and O! where'er thy voice be tried, On Torno's cliffs, or Pambamarca's side, Whether where equinoctial fervors glow, Or winter wraps the polar world in snow, Still let thy voice, prevailing over time, Redress the rigors of th' inclement clime ; Aid slighted truth with thy persuasive strain, Teach erring man to spurn the rage of gain; Teach him that states, of native strength possest, Though very poor, may still be very blest ; That trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay, As ocean sweeps the labor'd mole away ; While self-dependent pow'r can time defy, As rocks resist the billows and the sky.
“Forbear, my son," the hermit cries,
“ To tempt the dang’rous gloom; For yonder faithless phantom flies
To lure thee to thy doom.
“ Here to the houseless child of want
My door is open still;
I give it with good-will.
“ Then turn 10-night, and freely share
Whate'er my cell bestows; My rushy couch and frugal fare,
My blessing and repose.
To slaughter I condemn :
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.
“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;
And strangers led astray.
No stores beneath its humble thatch
Requir'd a master's care;
Receiv'd the harmless pair.
And now when busy crowds retire
To take their ev'ning rest,
And cheer'd his pensive guest:
And spread his vegetable store,
And gaily prest, and smil'd ; And, skill'd in legendary lore,
The ling’ring hours beguil'd.
Around in sympathetic mirth
Its tricks the kitten tries;
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.
His rising cares the hermit spied,
With answ'ring care opprest : " And whence, unhappy youth,” he cried, “The sorrows of thy breast ?
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