The Deserted Village: A Poem Written by Oliver Goldsmith and Illustrated by Edwin A. Abbey, R. A.

Couverture
Harper & brothers, 1902 - 119 pages
The poem was written as a response to the Inclosure Acts, which essentially forced poor farmers to leave the countryside and migrate to the cities. A once lively town filled with good people has been replaced by a private country estate.
 

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Page xviii - 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 ; To husband out life's taper at the close, And keep the flame from wasting by repose.
Page xiii - And, as a bird each fond endearment tries, To tempt its new-fledged offspring to the skies, He tried each art, reproved each dull delay, Allured 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 reverend champion stood. At his control, Despair and anguish fled the struggling soul ; Comfort came down the trembling wretch to raise, And his last faltering accents whispered praise.
Page xvii - Tumultuous grandeur crowds the blazing square, 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 eyes Where the poor houseless, shivering female lies. She once, perhaps, in village plenty blest, Has wept at tales of innocence distrest ; Her modest looks the cottage might adorn, Sweet as the primrose peeps beneath the thorn...
Page iv - 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 whispering 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.
Page 64 - 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.
Page xiii - To them his heart, his love, his griefs, were given, But all his serious thoughts had rest in heaven : As some tall cliff that lifts its awful form, Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm.
Page 13 - 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 supplied.
Page 30 - The watch-dog's voice that bay'd the whispering 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...
Page 63 - Thither no more the peasant shall repair To sweet oblivion of his daily care; No more the farmer's news, the barber's tale...
Page 7 - How often have I blest 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 surveyed ; And many a gambol frolicked o'er the ground, And sleights of art and feats of strength went round...

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