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The never failing brook, the busy mill,
The decent church that topt the neighbouring hill,
The hawthorn bufh, with feats beneath the fhade,
For talking age and whispering 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 pastime circled in the shade,
The young contending as the old furveyed ;
And many a gambol frolicked o'er the ground,
And flights of art and feats of strength went round.
And still as each repeated pleasure tired,
Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspired;
The dancing pair that fimply fought renown
By holding out to tire each other down,
The swain mistrustless of his fmutted face,
While fecret laughter tittered round the place,
The bashful virgin's fide-long looks of love,
The matron's glance that would those looks
THE DESERTED VILLAGE.
These were thy charms, sweet village; fports like these, With sweet succession, taught even toil to please;
These round thy bowers their chearful influence shed, These were thy charms---But all these charms are fled.
Sweet smiling village, lovelieft of the lawn,
Thy sports are fled, and all thy charms withdrawn ;
Amidst thy bowers the tyrant's hand is seen,
And defolation faddens all thy green:
One only master grasps the whole domain,
And half a tillage ftints thy fmiling plain;
No more thy glaffy brook reflects the day,
But choaked with fedges, works its weedy way.
Along thy glades, a solitary guest,
The hollow founding bittern guards its nest;
Amidst thy desert walks the lapwing flies,
And tires their ecchoes with unvaried cries.
Sunk are thy bowers in shapeless ruin all,
And the long grafs o'ertops the mouldering wall,
And trembling, fhrinking from the fpoiler's hand,
Far, far away thy children leave the land.
Ill fares the land, to hastening 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 destroyed, can never be fupplied.
A time there was, ere England's griefs began,
When every rood of ground maintained its man ;
For him light labour spread her wholesome store,
Juft gave what life required, but gave no more.
His best companions, innocence and health;
And his best riches, ignorance of wealth.
But times are altered; trade's unfeeling train
Ufurp the land and difpoffefs the swain ;
THE DESERTED VILLAGE.
Along the lawn, where scattered hamlets rose,
Unwieldy wealth, and cumbrous pomp repose;
And every want to luxury allied,
And every pang that folly pays to pride.
These gentle hours that plenty bade to bloom,
Those calm defires that afked but little room,
Those healthful fports that graced the peaceful fcene,
Lived in each look, and brightened all the green;
These far departing feek a kinder shore,
And rural mirth and manners are no more.
Sweet AUBURN! parent of the blissful hour,
Thy glades forlorn confefs the tyrant's power.
Here as I take my folitary rounds,
Amidst thy tangling walks, and ruined grounds,
And, many a year elapfed, return to view
Where once the cottage ftood, the hawthorn grew,
Here, as with doubtful, penfive fteps I range,
Trace every scene, and wonder at the change,
Remembrance wakes with all her busy train,
Swells at my breaft, and turns the past to pain.
In all my wanderings round this world of care,
In all my griefs-and God has given my share-
I still had hopes my latest hours to crown,
Amidst these humble bowers to lay me down ;
My anxious day to husband near the close,
And keep life's flame from wasting by repose.
I still had hopes, for pride attends us still,
Amidst the swains to shew my book-learned skill,
Around my fire an evening groupe to draw,
And tell of all I felt, and all I faw;
And, as an hare whom hounds and horns pursue,
Pants to the place from whence at first she flew,
I ftill had hopes, my long vexations past,
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 bleft is he who crowns in fhades like thefe, A youth of labour with an age of ease; Who quits a world where strong temptations try, And, fince 'tis hard to combat, learns to fly.