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Comfort came down the trembling wretch to raise,
And his last falt’ring accents whisper'd praise.

At church with meek and unaffected grace,
His looks adorn'd the venerable place ;
Truth from his lips prevail'd with double sway ;
And fools who came to scoff, remain’d to pray.
The service palt, around the pious man,
With ready zeal each honest rustic ran ;
E'en children follow'd with endearing wile,
And pluck'd his gown, to share the good man's smile,
His ready smile a parent's warmth express'd ;
Their welfare pleas'd him, and their cares distress’d.
To them his heart, his love, his griefs were giv’n ;
But all his serious thoughts had rest in heav'n ;
As some tall cliff that lifts its awful form,
Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm,
Tho'round its breast the rolling clouds are spread,
Eternal sunshine settles on his head.

Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way, With bloffom furze unprofitably gay, There in his noisy mansion skill'd to rule, The village master taught his little school. A man severe he was, and stern to view; I knew him well, and every truant knew. Well had the boding tremblers learn'd to trace The day's disasters in his morning face ; Full well they laugh’d, with counterfeited glee, At all his jokes, for many a joke had he ; Full well the busy whisper circling round Convey'd the dismal tidings when he frown'd. Yet he was kind ; or, if severe in aught, The love he bore to learning was in fault. The village all declar'd how much he knew ; 'Twas certain he could write and cypher too ! Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage ; And e'en the story ran, that he could guage. In arguing too the parson own'd his ikill, For e'en tho' vanquish'd, he could argue still ; While words of learned length, and thund'ring sound, Amaz'd the gazing rustics rang'd around; And still they gaz'd, and still the wonder grew, That one small head could carry all he knew. But part is ail his fame : the very spot, Where many a time he triumph'd, is forgot.

SECTION IV.

The deserted village continued.
Near yonder thorn that lifts its head on high,
Where once the sign-post caught the passing eye,
Now lies that house where nut-brown draughts inspir'd,
Where grey-beard mirth and smiling toil retird,
Where village statesmen talk'd with looks profound,
And news much older than their ale went round.
Imagination fondly stoops to trace
The parlour splendours of that festive place ;
The white-wash'd wall, the nicely fanded Aloor,
The varnish'd clock that click'd behind the door ;
The chest contriv'd a double debt to pay,
A bed by night, a chest of drawers by day;
The pictures plac'd for ornament and use,
The twelve good rules, the royal game of goose ;
The hearth, except when winter chill'd the day,
With aspen boughs, and flowers, and fennel gay ;
While broken tea-cups, wifely kept for show,
Rang'd o'er the chimney, glisten in a row.

Vain tranfitory fplendour ! could not all
Retrieve the tott'ring mansion from its fall ?
Obfcure it links, nor shall it more impart
An hour's importance to the poor man's heart ;
Thither no more the peasant shall repair
To fweet oblivion of his daily care ;
No more the farmer's news, the barber's tale,
No more the woodman's ballad shall prevail ;
No more the smith his dusky brow shall clear,
Relax his pond'rous strength, and lean to hear ;
The host himself no longer shall be found
Careful to see the mantling bliss go round.

Yes ! let the rich deride, the proud disdain,
These simple pleasures of the lowly train :
To me more dear, congenial to my heart,
One native charm than all the gloss of art.
Spontaneous joys, where nature has its play,
The soul adopts, and owns their first-born sway ;
Lightly they frolic o'er the vacant mind,
Unenvied, unmolested, unconfin'd;
But the long pomp, the midnight masquerade,
With all the freaks of wanton wealth array'd,
In these, ere triflers half their wish obtain,
The toiling pleasure fickens into pain ;

T

And, e'en while fashion's brightest arts decoy,
The heart, distrusting, asks if this be joy?
Ye friends to truth, ye statesmen who survey
The rich man's joys increase, the poor's decay,
'Tis yours to judge how wide the limits ftand,
Between a splendid and a happy land.
Proud swells the tide with loads of freighted ore,
And shouting folly hails them from her shore ;
Hoards, e'en beyond the miser's wish, abound,
And rich men flock from all the world around;
Yet count our gains ; this wealth is but a name
That leaves our ufeful product still the same.
Not so the loss : the man of wealth and pride
Takes up a space that many poor supply'd ;
Space for his lake, his park's extended bounds,
Space for his horses, equipage, and hounds :
The robe that wraps his limbs in filken sloth
Has robb’d the neighbouring fields of half their growth;
His seat, where folitary sports are seen,
Indignant spurns the cottage from the green.
Around the world each needful product flies,
For all the luxuries the world supplies :
While thus the land adorn'd for pleasure all,
In barren {plendour feebly waits the fall.
As some fair female, unadorn'd and plain,
Secure to please while youth confirms her reign,
Slights ev'ry borrow'd charm that dress supplies,
Nor shares with art the triumph of her eyes ;
But when those charms are past, (for charms are frail,)
When time advances, and when lovers fail,
She then shines forth, solicitous to bless,
In all the glaring impotence of dress ;
Thus fares the land, by luxury betray'd,
In nature's simplest charms at first array'd ;
But verging to decline, its splendours rise,
Its vistas strike. its palaces surprise ;
While, scourg'd by famine from the smiling land,
The mournful peasant leads his humble band;
And while he links without one arm to save,
The country blooms-a garden and a grave !

Where then, ah where, shall poverty reside,
To 'scape the pressure of contiguous pride ?
If, to some common fenceless limits stray'd,
He drives his flock to pick the scanty blade,

Those fenceless fields the fons of wealth divide,
And e'en the bare-worn common is denied.
If to the city sped-what waits him there?
To see profusion that he must not share ;
To see ten thousand baneful arts combin'd
To pamper luxury, and thin mankind ;
To see each joy the fons of pleasure know,
Extorted from his fellow creature's wo.
Here, while the courtier glitters in brocade,
There the pale artist plies the fickly trade :
Here, while the proud their long-drawn pomps display,
There the black gibbet glooms beside the way.
The dome where pleasure holds her midnight reign
Here, richly deck’d, admits the gorgeous train ;
Tumultuous grandeur crowds the blazing square,
The rattling chariots clash, the torches glare-
Sure scenes like these no troubles e'er annoy!
Sure these denote one universal joy!
Are these thy serious thoughts ? Ah, turn thine eyes
Where the poor houseless Thivering female lies.
She, once, perhaps, in village plenty blest,
Has wept at tales of innocence distrelt :
Her modest looks the cottage might adorn,
Sweet as the primrose peeps beneath the thorn :
Now lost to all ; her friends, her virtue fled,
Near her betrayer's door fhe lays her head ;
And pinch'd with cold, and shrinking from the shower,
With heavy heard deplores that luckless hour,
When idly first, ambitious of the town,
She left her wheel, and robes of country brown.
Do thine, fweet Auburn, thine, the loveliest train,
Do thy fair tribes participate her pain !
E’en now, perhaps, by cold and hunger led,
At proud men's doors they ask a little bread !

Ah no! to distant climes, a dreary scene,
Where half the convex world intrudes between,
Through horrid tracts with fainting Ateps they go,
Where wild Altama murmurs to their wo.
Far different there from all that charm'd before,
The various terrors of that horrid shore ;
Those blazing suns that dart a downward ray,
And fiercely thed intolerable day ;
Those matied woods where birds forget to fing,
But silent bats in drowsy clusters cling i

Those poil nous fields with rank luxuriance crown'd,
Where the dark scorpion gathers death around ;
Where at each step the Atranger fears to wake
The rattling terrors of the vengeful fnake ;
Where crouching tigers wait their haplefs prey :
And savage men, more murd'rous still than they ;
While oft in whirls the mad tornado flies,
Mingling the ravag'd landscape with the skies.

Alas! what forrows gloom'd that parting day,
That call them from their native walks away ;
When the poor exiles, every pleasure pasi,
Hung round the bowers, and fondly look'd their last,
And took a long farewell, and with'd in vain
For seats like these beyond the western main ;
And shuddering still to face the diftant deep,
Return’d and wept, and still return'd to weep!
The good old fire the first prepar'd to go
To new-found worlds, and wept for others' wo :
But for himself, in conscious virtue brave,
He only wish'd for worlds beyond the grave.
His lovely daughter, lovelier in her tears,
The fond companion of his hapless yeats,
Silent went next, neglectful of her charrns,
And left a lover's for a father's arms.
With louder plaints the mother spoke her woes,
And bless'd the cot where every pleasure rose ;
And kiss'd ber thoughtless babes with many a tear,
And clasp'd them close in forrow doubly dear ;
Whilft her fond husband (trove to lend relief,
In all the filent manliness of grief.
O luxury! thou curst by Heav'n's decree,
How ill exchang'd are things like these for thee !
How do thy potions, with insidious joy,
Diffuse their pleafures only to destroy !
Kingdoms, by thee to fickly greatness grown,
Boalt of a florid vigour not their own,
A: every draught more large and large they grow,
A bloated mass of rank unwieldy wo;
Till sap'd their strength, and ev'ry part unfound,
Down, down they fink, and spread a ruin round.

E’en now the devastation is begun,
And half the bus'ness of destruction done ;
E'en now, methinks, as pondering here I stand,
I see the rural virtues leave the land.

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