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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 slights of art and feats of strength went round,
And still, as each repeated pleasure tird,
Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspir'd;
The dancing pair that simply sought renown,
By holding out to tire each other down;
The swain mistrustless of his smutted face,
While secret laughter titter'd round the place;
The bashful virgin's side-long looks of love,
The matron's glance that would those looks reprove.
These were thy charms, sweet village! sports like
With sweet succession, taught e'en toil to please ;
These round thy bow'rstheircheerful influenceshed,
These were thy charms—but all these charms are
fled. Sweet smiling village, loveliest of the lawn, Thy sports are fled, and all thy charms withdrawn;
Darigned by Woronitton R.4.
The dancing pair, that simply sought renown Pry holding out
ding out to hire cach other down ?
Amidst 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 tillage stints thy smiling plain ;
No more thy glassy brook reflects the day,
But chok'd with sedges works its weary way;
Along thy glades, a solitary guest,
The hollow-sounding bittern guards its nest ;
Amidst thy desert walks the lapwing flies,
And tires their echoes with unvary'd cries.
Sunk are thy bow'rs in shapeless ruin all,
And the long grass 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 hasť’ning ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates, and men decay;
Princes and lords may flourish, 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 griefs began, When ev'ry 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 dispossess the swain;
Along the lawn, where scatter'd hamlets rose,
Unwieldy wealth and cumb’rous pomp repose ;
And ev'ry want to luxury ally'd, .
And ev'ry 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 green;
These, 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 pow'r. 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,