ePub 版

Spreads its long arms amidst the wat'ry roar,
Scoops out an empire, and usurps the shore;
While the pent ocean, rising o'er the pile,
Sees an amphibious world beneath him smile;
The slow canal, the yellow-blossom'd vale,
The willow-tufted bank, the gliding sail,
The crowded mart, the cultivated plain,
A new creation rescued from his reign.

Thus, while around the wave-subjected soil
Impels the native to repeated toil,
Industrious habits in each bosom reign,
And industry begets a love of gain.
Hence all the good from opulence that springs,
With all those ills surperfluous treasure brings,
Are here display'd. There much-lov'd wealth

Convenience, plenty, elegance, and arts;
But view them closer, craft and fraud appear;
E'en liberty itself is barter'd here!

At gold's superior charms all freedom flies;
The needy sell it, and the rich man buys;
A land of tyrants and a den of slaves,
Here wretches seek dishonourable graves.
And, calmly beut, to servitude conform,
Dull as their lakes that slumber in the storm.
Heavens! how unlike their Belgic sires of

The self-dependant lordlings stand alone;
All claims that bind and sweeten life unknown;
Here, be the bonds of nature feebly held,
Minds combat minds, repelling and repell'd.
Ferments arise, imprison'd factions roar,
Repress'd ambition struggles round her shore;
Till, over-wrought, the general system feels
Its motions stop, or phrensy fire the wheels.

Nor this the worst. As nature's ties decay,
As duty, love, and honour fail to sway,
Fictitious bonds, the bonds of wealth and

Still gather strength, and force unwilling awe.
Hence all obedience bows to these alone,
And talent sinks, and merit weeps unknown;
Till time may come, when stripp'd of all her

|| The land of scholars and the nurse of arms,
Where noble stems transmit the patriot fame,
Where kings have toir'd, and poets wrote for

Rough, poor, content, ungovernably bold;
War in each breast, and freedom on each brow;
How much unlike the sons of Britain now!

One sink of level avarice shall lie,

And scholars, soldiers, kings, unhonour'd die.
Yet think not thus, when freedom's ills I

I mean to flatter kings, or court the great:
Ye pow'rs of truth that bid my soul aspire,
Far from my bosom drive the low desire!
And thou, fair freedom, taught alike to feel
The rabble's rage, and tyrant's angry steel;
Thou transitory flow'r, alike undoue
By proud contempt, or favour's fost'ring sun,
Still may thy blooms the changeful clime eu-

Fir'd at the sound, my genius spreads ber
And flics where Britain courts the western
Where lawns extend that scorn Arcadian
And brighter streams than fam'd Hydaspes
There all around the gentlest breezes stray,
There gentle music melts on ev'ry spray;
Creation's mildest charms are there combin'd;
Extremes are only in the master's mind!
Stern o'er each bosom reason holds her state,
With daring aims irregularly great :
Pride in their port, defiance in their eye,
I see the lords of human kind pass by;
Intent on high designs a thoughtful band,
By forms unfashion'd fresh from nature's hand;
Fierce in their native hardiness of soul,
True to imagin'd right above controul:
While e'en the peasant boasts these rights to Contracting regal pow'r to stretch their own;
When I behold a factious band agree
To call it freedom when themselves are free;
Each wanton judge new peual statutes draw,
Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the
The wealth of climes, where savage nations
Pillag'd from slaves, to purchase slaves at

And learns to venerate himself as man.

Thine, freedom, thine the blessings pictur'd
Thiue are those charms, that dazzle and en-

Too blest indeed were such without alloy,
But foster'd e'en by freedom ills annoy.
That independance Britons prize too high,
Keeps mau from man, and breaks the social tie;

[ocr errors]

I only would repress them to secure:
For just experience tells, in ev'ry soil,
That those who think must govern those who

And all that freedom's highest aims can reach,
Is but to lay proportion'd loads on each.
Hence, should one order disproportion'd grow,
Its double weight must ruin all below.

O, then, how blind to all that truth requires,
Who think it freedom when a part aspires,
Calm in my soul, nor apt to rise in arms,
Except when fast approaching danger warms:
But when coutending chiefs blockade the


Fear, pity, justice, indignation start,

Tear off reserve, aud bare my swelling heart;


Till, half a patriot, half a coward grown,
I fly from petty tyrants to the thron".

Yes, brother, curse with me that baleful bour;

When first ambition struck at regal pow'r,
And thus, polluting honour in its source,
Gave wealth to sway the mind with double

Have we not seen, round Britain's peopled shore,

Her useful sons exchang'd for useless orv;
Seen all her triumphs but destruction haste,
Like flaring tapers, bright'ning as they waste;
Seen opulence, her grandeur to maintain,
Lead stern de population in her train,
And over fields where scatter'd hamlets rose,
In barren solitary pomp repose?
Have we not seen, at pleasure's lordly call;
The smiling long-frequented village fall?
Beheld the duteous son, the sire decay'd,
The modest matron, and the blushing maid,
Fore'd from their homes, a melancholy train,
To traverse climes beyond the western main;
Where wild Oswego spreads her swamps


And Niagara stuns with thund'ring sound? Een now, perhaps, as there some pilgrim strays Thro' tangled forests, and thro' dangerous


Where beasts with man divided empire claim, And the brown Indian marks with murd'rous aim,

There, while above the giddy tempest flies, And all around distressful yells arise, The pensive exile, bending with his woe, | To stop too fearful, and too faint to go, Casts a long look where England's glories shine,

And bids his bosom sympathize with mine.

Vain, very vain, my weary search to find That bliss which only centres in the mind! Why have I stray'd from pleasure and repose, To seek a good each government bestows? In ev'ry government, tho' teriors reign, Though tyrant kings or tyrant laws restrain, How small, of all that human hearts endure, That part which laws or kings can cause or cure!

[blocks in formation]

Still to ourselves in ev'ry place consign'd,
Our own felicity we make or find:

With secret course, which no loud storms annoy,

Glides the smooth current of domestic joy.
The lifted ax, the agonizing wheel,
Luke's iron crown, and Damiens' bed of steel,
To men remote from pow'r but rarely known,
Leave reason, faith, and conscience, all our


And many a gambol frolick'd o'er the ground, And sleits 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 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 glauce that would those looks
[like these,
These were thy charms, sweet village! sports
With sweet succession taught e'en toil to please;
These round thy bow'rs their cheerful influence

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 with drawn, Amidst thy bow'rs the tyrant's hand is seen, And desolation saddens all thy green:

[ocr errors]

I still had hopes, for pride attends us still,
Amidst the swains to shew my book-learn'd

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 horus

Pants to the place from whence at first he flew,
I still had hopes, my long vexations past,
|| Here to return, and die at home at last.


O blest retirement, friend to life's decline,

And trembling, shrinking from the spoiler's Retreat from care, that never must be mine! How blest is he, who crowns, in shades like these,


Far, far away thy children leave the land.

A youth of labour with an age of ease;
Who quits a world where strong temptations

Il fares the land, to hast'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 he supplied.
A time there was, ere England's griefs be-
When every rood of ground maintain`d its
For him light labour spread her wholesome

And, since '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 surly porter stands in guilty state,
To spurn imploring famine from the gate;
But on he moves to meet his latter end,
Angles around; befriending virtue's friend;
Sinks to the grave with unperceiv'd decay,
While resignation gently slopes the way;
And, all bis prospects bright'ning to the last,
His heaven commences ere the world be past!
Sweet was the sound, when oft at evening's

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 weedy 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 anvaried cries.
Sunk are thy bow'rs in shapeless ruin all,
And the long grass o'ertops the mould'ring


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


[blocks in formation]

Up yonder hill the village murmur rose;
There as I pass'd, with careless steps and slow,
The mingling notes came soften'd from below;
The swain responsive as the milkmaid sung,
The sober 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 whis-
p'ring wind,


And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind;
These all in sweet confusion sought 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 busy steps the grass-grown footway tread,
But all the bloomy flush of life is fled:
All but yon widow'd, solitary thing,
That feebly bend beside the plashy spring;
She, wretched matron! forc'd in age for bread,
To strip the brook with mantling cresses

To pick her wintry faggot from the thorn,
To seek her nightly shed, and weep till morn;
She only left, of all the harmless train,
The sad bistorian of the pensive plain:
Near yonder copse, where ouce the garden
And still where many a garden flow'r grows

There where a few toru shrubs the place disclose,

The village preacher's modest mansion rose.
A man he was to all the country dear,
And passing rich with forty pounds a year;
Remote from towns he ran his godly race,
Nor e'er had chang'd, nor wish'd to change,
his place;

Caskilful he to fawn, or seek for pow'r,
By doctrines fashion'd 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 vagrant train;
He chid their wand'rings, but reliev'd their||

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,
Sat by his sire, and talk'd the night away;
Wept o'er his wounds, or, tales of sorrow done,
Shoulder'd his crutch, and shew'd how fields
[to glow,
Pleas'd with his guests the good man learn'd
And quite forgot their vices in their woe;
Careless their merits or their faults to scan,
His pity gave ere charity began.

were wou.

Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride, And ev'n his failings lean'd to virtue's side; But, in his duty prompt at ev'ry 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 con


Despair and anguish fled the struggling soul; 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 past, around the pious mau, With ready zeal each honest rustic ran; Ev'n children follow'd with endearing wile, And pluck'd his gown to share the good man's smile.

As some tall cliff that lifts its awful form, Sweils from the vale, and midway leaves the storm, [spread, Tho' round its breast the rolling cloads are Eternal sunshine settles on its bead.

Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the

With blossom 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 steru to view;
I knew him well, and every truaut 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 roand
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

And ev'n the story ran that he could gange;
In arguing too the parson own'd his skill,
For, even though vanquish'd, he could argue

While words of learned length, and thendring 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 past is all his fame: the very spot,
Where many a time he triumph'd is forgot.

Near yonder thorn that lifts its head on high, Where once the sign-post caught the passing eye, [inspir'd, Low lies that house where nut-brown draughts Where grey-beard mirth and smiling toil retir'd,

Where village statesmen talk'd with looks profound, [round. And news much older than their ale went Imagination fondly stoops to trace

The parlour splendours of that festive place; The white-wash'd wall, the nicely sanded floor, The varnish'd clock that click'd behind the door;

His ready smile a parent's warmth express'd, Their welfare pleas'd him, and their care distress'd; [given, To them his heart, his love, his griefs were But all his serious thoughts had rest in heaven.

The chest contriv'd a double debt to pay,
A bed by night, a chest of draw'rs by day;
The pictures plac'd for ornament and use,
The twelve good rules, the royal game of

The hearth, except when winter chill'd the day, With aspen boughs, and flow'rs, and fennel


While broken tea-cups, wisely kept for show, Rang'd o'er the chimney, glisten'd in a row.

Vain transitory splendour! could not all
Reprieve the tott'ring mansion from its fall?
Obscure it sinks, nor shall it more impart
Au hour's importance to the poor man's heart;
Thither no more the peasant shall repair
To sweet 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;
Nor coy the maid, half willing to be prest,
Shall kiss the cup to pass it to the rest.

Yes! let the rich deride, the prond disdain,
These simple blessings 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

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 sickens into pain ;
And, ev'n while fashion's brightest arts decoy,||
The heart distrusting asks, if this be joy?

Ye friends to truth, ye statesmen who sur

The rich man's joys increase, the poor's decay,
'Tis your's to judge how wide the limits stand
Between a splendid and a happy land.
Proud swells the tide with loads of freighted

And shouting folly hails them from her shore;
Hoards, ev'n 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 useful product still the same.
Not so the loss: the mau of wealth and pride
Takes up a space that many poor supplied;
Space for his lake, his park's extended bounds,||
Space for his horses, equipage, and hounds;
The robe that wraps his limbs in silken sloth,
Has robb'd the neighb'ring fields of half their

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

The mournful peasant leads his humble band;
And while he sinks, 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's fenceless limits stray'd,
He drives his flock to pick the scanty blade,
Those fenceless fields the sons of wealth di-

And ev'n the bare-worn common is denied.

If to the city speed-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 sous of pleasure know
Extorted from his fellow-creature's woe.
Here, while the courtier glitters in brocade,
There the pale artist plies the sickly trade;
Here, while the proud their long-drawn pomp

His seat, where solitary 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 splendour 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 sup-
Nor shares with art the triumph of her eyes:

There the black gibbet glooms beside the way.
The dome where pleasure holds her midnight

Here, richly deck'd, admits the gorgeous train ;
Tumultuous grandeur crouds the blazing


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
Where the poor houseless shiv'ring female lies.
She, once, perhaps, in village plenty blest,
Has wept at tales of innoceuce distrest;
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 she lays her head;
And pinch'd with cold, and shrinking from the

With heavy heart deplores that luckless hour,
When idly first, ambitious of the town,
She left her wheel, and robes of country brown.
Do thine, sweet Auburn, thine, the loveliest

Do thy fair tribes participate her pain?
Ev'n now, perhaps, by cold and hunger led,
At proud men's doors they ask a little bread!

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« 上一頁繼續 »