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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 ore;
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 clair, And the brown Indian marks with murd'cous 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
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
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
SWEET Anburn! loveliest village of the plain, Where health and plenty cheer'd the labouring swain;
Where smiling spring its earliest visit paid,
And parting summer's ling'ring blooms delay'd;
Dear lovely bow`rs of innocence and ease,
Seats of my youth when ev'ry sport could
How often have I paus'd on ev'ry charm,
The shelter'd cot, the cultivated farm,
The never-failing brook, the busy mill,
The decent church that topp'd the neigbring hill,
The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade,
For talking age and whisp'ring lovers made!
How often have I bless'd 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
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 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
These were thy charms, sweet village! sports
With sweet succession taught e'en toil to please;
These round thy bow'rs their cheerful influence
One only master grasps the whole domain,
And half a tillage stiuts 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 unvaried cries.
Sunk are thy bow`rs in shapeless ruin all,
And the long grass o'ertops the mould'ring
I still had hopes, for pride attends us still,
Amidst the swains to shew my book-leara'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!
Far, far away thy children leave the land.
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 began,
[man; When every rood of ground maintain'd its 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, were scatter'd hamlets rose,
Unwieldy wealth and cumb'rous pomp repose;
And ev'ry want to luxury allied,
And ev'ry pang that folly pays to pride.
Those gentle hours that plenty bade to bloom,
Those calin desires that ask'd but little room,
Those healthful sports that grac'd the peaceful
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 Aukura parent of the blissful hour,
Thy glades forlorn confess'd the tyrant's pow'r,
Here, as I take my solitary rounds,
Amidst thy tangling walks, and ruin'd grounds;
And, many a year claps'd, return to view Where once the cottage stood, the hawthorn
Remembrance wakes with all her busy train, Swells at my breast, and turns the past to pain. In all my wand'rings round this world of
In all my grief, and God has given my share
I still had hopes, my latest hours to crown,
Amidst these humble bow'rs to lay me down;
To husband out life's taper at the close,
And keep the flame from wasting my repose:
How blest is he, who crowns, in shades like
A youth of labour with an age of ease;
Who quits a world where strong temptations
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,
Augles 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
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 milk maid 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-
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! fore'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 wild,
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,
Vaskilful 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 rain'd spendthrift, now no longer proud,
Claim'd kindred there, and had his claims
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
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.
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 controul
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.
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.
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 clouds are Eternal sunshine setties on its bead.
Beside you 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 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 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 thund'ring
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
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, Raug'd o'er the chimney, glisten'd m 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 proud 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 sickeus into pain;
And, ev'u 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 bounds;
The robe that wraps his limbs in silken sloth,
Has robb'd the neighb'ring fields of half their
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 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
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 theu, ah where, shall poverty reside, To 'scape the pressure of contiguous pride? If to some common's fenceless limits stray'd, He drives his lock to pick the scanty blade, Those fenceless fields the sons of wealth divide,
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 cach 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 display,
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!
Ah, no! to distant climes, a dreary scene, Where half the convex world intrudes between, Through torrid tracts with fainting steps they
Where wild Altama murmurs to their woe.
Far difl'reut there from all that charms before,
The various terrors of that horrid shore;
Those blazing suns that dart a downward ray,
And fiercely shed intolerable day;
Those matted woods where birds forget to sing,
But silent bats in drowsy clusters cling:
Those pois'nous fields with rank luxuriance
Where the dark scorpion gathers death around,
Where at each step the stranger fears to wake
The rattling terrors of the vengeful snake;
Where crouching tigers wait their hapless prey,
And savage men, more murd'rous still than
While oft in whirls the mad tornado flies,
Mingling the ravag'd landscape with the skies.
Far diff'rent these from ev'ry former scene,
The cooling brook, the grassy-vested green,
The breezy covert of the warbling grove,
That only shelter'd thefts of harmless love.
Good Heaven! what sorrows gloom'd that
That call'd them from their native walks away;
When the poor exiles, ev'ry pleasure past,
Hung round the bow'rs, and fondly look'd their
And took a long farewel, and wish'd in vain
For seats like these beyond the western main;
And shudd'ring still to face the distant deep,
Return'd and wept, and still return'd to
The good old sire the first prepar'd to go
To new-found worlds, and wept for others' woe;
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 years,
Silent went next, neglectful of her charms,
And left a lover's for her father's arms.
O, luxury! thou curst by Heaven's decree, How ill exchang'd are things like these for
How do thy potions, with insidious joy,
Diffuse their pleasures only to destroy!
Kingdoms, by thee to sickly greatness grown,
Boast of a florid vigour not their own.
At ev'ry draught more large and large they
A bloated mass of rank unwieldly woe;
Till sapp'd their strength, and ev'ry part un-
Down, down they sink, and spread a ruin round.
Even now the devastation is begun,
And half the bus'ness of destruction done;
Ev'n now, methiuks, as pond'ring Here I stand,
I see the rural virtues leave the land.
Down where yon anch'ring vessel spreads the
That idly waiting flaps with every gale,
Downward they move, a melancholy baud,
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 charining nymph, neglected and decried,
My shame in crowds, my solitary pride!
Thou source of all my bliss and all my woe,
Thou found'st me poor at first, and keep'st me
With louder plaints the mother spoke her Teach erring man to spurn the rage of gain ;
And bless'd the cot where every pleasure rose; And kiss'd her thoughtless babes with many a tear,
And clasp'd them close, in sorrow doubly dear; Whilst her fond husband strove to lend relief In all the silent manliness of grief.
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 labour'd mole away;
While self-dependant pow'r can time defy,
As rocks resist the billows and the sky.