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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 please,
How often have I loiter'd o'er thy green,
Where humble happiness endear'd each scene !
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 topt the neighb'ring hill,
The hawthorn bush, with scats beneath the shade,
For talking age and whisp'ring 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 contendiag as the old furvey'd;
And many a gambol frolic'd o'er the ground,
And Nights of art and feats of itrength went round.
And still as each repeated pleasure tir'd,
Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspir’d;
The dancing pair that fimply fought renown,
By holding out to tire each other down ;
The swain miltrustless of his smutted face,
While secret laughter titter'd round the place ;
The bashful virgin's fide-long looks of love,
The matro.i's glance, that would those looks reprove,
These were thy charms, sweet village, sports like these,
With sweet fucceffion, taught er'n toil to please ;
These round thy bow'rs their cheerful influence shed,
These were thy charms.But all these charms are fled.
Sweet smiling village, loveliest of the lawn,
Thy sports are Alcd, and all thy charms withdrawn ;
Amidit thy bow'rs the tyrant's hand is seen,
And defolation saddens all thy green:
One only master grasps the whole domain,
And half a tillage stints thy smiling plain ;
Nor more thy glaffy brook refleAs the day,
But, choak'd with sedges, works its weedy way;
Along thy glades, a solitary guest,
The hollow sounding bittern guards its neft ;
Amidst thy desart walks the lapwing lies,
And tires their echoes with unvary'd cries.
Sunk are thy bow'rs in shapeless rain all,
And the long grass o'ertops the mould'ring wall,
And, trembling, shrinking from the spoiler's hand,
Far, far away thy children leave the land.
Ill fares the land, to haft'ning ills a prey, Where wealth accumulates, and men decay ;
Princes and lords may lourilli, 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 be supply'd.
A time there was, ere England's grief began, When ev'ry rood of ground maintaini'd its man ; For him light labour spread her wholesome store,
what life reqnir'd, but gave no more : His best companions, innocence and health, And his best riches, ignorance of wealth.
But time's are alter'd ; trade's unfeeling train Usurp the land and difpoffefs the fwain ; Along the lawn, where scatter'd hamlet's rose, Unueildy wealth, and cumb'rous pomp repose, And ev'ry want to luxury ally'd, And ev'ry pang that folly pays to pride. These gentle hours that plenty bade to bloom, Those calm defires that ask'd but little room, Those healthful sports that grac'd the peaceful scene, 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 AUBURN! parent of the blissful hour, Thy glades forlorn confess the tyrant's pow'r. Here, as I take my solitary rounds, Amidst thy tangling walks, and ruin'd grounds, · And, many a year elaps'd, return to view Where once the cottage food, the hawthorn grew, Remembrance wakes with all her husy train, Swells at my breast, and turns the past to pain.
In all my wand'rings round this world of care,
In all my griefs--and God has giv'n my fare
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 by repose :
I ftill had hopes, for pride attends us still,
Amidst the swains to hew my book-learn'd skill,
Around my fire an evening group to draw,
And tell of all I felt and all I saw
And, as an hare whom hounds and horns pursue,
Pants to the place from whence at firft she flew,
I still had hopes, my long vexations past,
Here to retura-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 shades like these, A youth of labour with an
Who quits a world where strong temptations try,
And, since 'tis hard to combat, learns to Ay!
For him no wretches, born to work and weep,
Explore the mine, or tempt the dang'rous deep;
No furly porter stands in guilty state,
To spurn imploring famine from the gate ;
But on he moves to meet his latter end,
Angels around befriending virtue's friend;
Sinks to the grave with unperceiv’d decay,
While refignation gently fopes the way;
And all his prospects bright'ning to the last,
His Heav'n commences ere the world be past;
Sweet was the found, when oft at ev'ning's close, Up yonder
hill the village murmur rose ; There, as I paft with careless steps and slow, The mingling notes came foften d from below; The swain responsive as the milk-maid fung, The sober herd that low'd to meet their young; The noisy gecse that gabbled o'er the opol, The playful children just let loose from school; The watch-dog's voice that bay'd the whisp'ring wind, And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind: These all in sweet confufion fought the shade, Aud fill'd each pause the nightingale had made.
For now the sounds of population fail,
No chearful murmurs fluctuate in the gale,
No busy steps the grass-grown foot-way tread,
But all the bloomy Hush of life is fed.
All but yon widow'd folitary thing,
That feebly bends befides the plashy spring;
She, wretched matron, forc'd, in age, for bread,
To strip the brook with mantling creffes spread,
To pick her wintry faggot from the thorn,
To leek her nightly shed, and weep till morn,
She only left of all the harmless train,
The fad historian of the penfive plain.
Near yonder copse, where once the garden (mila, And still where many a garden dow'r grows wild : There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose, The village preacher's modest manfion 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 ere had chang'd, nor wish'd to change his place, Unskilful he to fawn, or seek for pow'r, By doctrines fashion’d to the varying hour; Far other aims his heart hạth learn'd to prize, More bent to raise the wretched than to risc. His houfe was known to all the vagrant train, He chid their wand'rings, but reliev'd their pain, The long-remember'd beggar was his guest, Whose beard descending fwept his aged breast ; The ruin'd spendthrift, now no longer proud, Claim'd kindred there, and had his claims allow'd ; The broken foldier, kindly bade to stay, Sate by his fire, and talk’ the night away; Wept o'er his wounds, or tales of sorrow done, Shoulder'd his crutch, and shew'd how fields were won. Pleas'd with his gueits, the good man learn’d tu glowt, And quite forgot their vices in their wo;