Sidor som bilder

No more the evening gambol shall delight,
Nor moonshine revels crown the vacant night,
But groups of villagers (each joy forgot)
Shall form a sad assembly round the cot.
Sweet bard,farewelland farewell Auburn's bliss,
The bashful lover, and the yielded kiss;
The evening warble Philomela made,
The echoing forest, and the whispering shade,
The winding brook, the bleat of brute content,
And the blithe voice that “whistled as it went."
These shall no longer charm the ploughman's care,
But sighs shall fill the pauses of despair.

• Goldsmith, adieu! the “book-learn'd priest" for
Shall now in vain possess his festive glee, (thee
The oft heard jest in vain he shall reveal,
For now, alas! the jest he cannot feel:
But ruddy damsels o'er thy tomb shall bend,
And conscious weep for their and virtue's friend;
The milkmaid shall reject the shepherd's song,
And cease to carol as she toils along;
All Auburn shall bewail the fatal day [away;
When from her fields their pride was snatch'd
And e'en the matron of the cressy lake,
In piteous plight her palsied head shall shake,
While all adown the furrows of her face
Slow shall the lingering tears each other trace.

. And oh, my child! severer woes remain To all the houseless and unshelter'd train : Thy fate shall sadden many an humble guest, And heap fresh anguish on the beggar's breast: For dear wert thou to all the sons of pain, To all that wander, sorrow, or complain : Dear to the learned, to the simple dear, For daily blessings mark'd thy virtuous year;

The rich received a moral from thy head, And from thy heart the stranger found a bed; Distress came always smiling from thy door; For God had made thee agent to the poor; Had form’d thy feelings on the noblest plan, To

grace at once the poet and the man.'




ADIEU, sweet Bard! to each fine feeling true,
Thy virtues many, and thy foibles few;
Those form’d to charm e'en vicious minds_and

With harmless mirth the social soul to please.
Another's woe thy heart could always melt;
None gave more free-for none more deeply felt:
Sweet Bard, adieu! thy own harmonious lays
Have sculptured out thy monument of praise:
Yes—these survive to Time's remotest day;
While drops the bust, and boastful tombs decay.
Reader, if number'd in the Muse's train,
Go, tune the lyre, and imitate his strain;
But, if no poet thou, reverse the plan,
Depart in peace, and imitate the man.








DEAR SIR, I AM sensible that the friendship between us can acquire no new force from the ceremonies of a Dedication; and perhaps it demands an excuse thus to prefix your name to my attempts, which you decline giving with your own.

But as a part of this poem was formerly written to you from Switzerland, the whole can now, with propriety, be only inscribed to you. It will also throw a light upon many parts of it, when the reader understands that it is addressed to a man who, despising fame and fortune, has retired early to happiness and obscurity, with an income of forty pounds a year.

I now perceive, my dear brother, the wisdom of your humble choice. You have entered upon a sacred office, where the harvest is great, and the labourers are but few; while you have left the field of ambition, where the labourers are many, and the harvest not worth carrying away. But of all kinds of ambition, what from the refinement of the times, from different systems of criticism, and from the divisions of party, that which pursues poetical fame is the wildest.

Poetry makes a principal amusement among unpolished nations; but in a country verging to the extremes of refinement, Painting and Music come in for a share. As these offer the feeble mind a less laborious entertainment, they at first rival Poetry, and at length supplant her; they engross all that favour once shown to her, and, though but younger sisters, seize upon the elder's birthright.

Yet, however this art may be neglected by the powerful, it is still in greater danger from the mistaken efforts of the learned to improve it. What criticisms have we not heard of late in favour of blank verse, and Pindaric odes, chorusses, anapests, and iambics, illiterative care, and happy negligence! Every absurdity has now a champion to defend it; and as he is generally much in the wrong, so he has always much to say; for error is ever talkative.

But there is an enemy to this art still more dangerous, I mean Party. Party entirely distorts the judgment, and destroys the taste. When the mind is once infected with this disease, it can only find pleasure in what contributes to increase the distemper.

Like the tiger, that seldom desists from pursuing man, after having once preyed upon human flesh, the reader who has once gratified his appetite with calumny, makes ever after the most agreeable feast upon murdered reputation. Such readers generally admire some half witted thing, who wants to be thought a bold man, having lost the character of a wise one. Him they dignify with the name of poet: his tawdry lampoons are called satires; his turbulence is said to be force, and his frenzy fire.

What reception a poem may find, which has neither abuse, party, nor blank verse, .to support it, I cannot tell, nor am I solicitous to know. My aims are right. Without espousing the cause of any party, I have attempted to moderate the rage of all. I have endeavoured to show, that there may be equal happiness in states that are differently governed from our own; that every state has a particular principle of happiness, and that this principle in each may be carried to a mischievous excess. There are few can judge better than yourself how far these positions are illustrated in this poem.



Your most affectionate brother,


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