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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 sleights 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 glance that would those looks
reprove :

These were thy charms, sweet village! sports like these,

With sweet succession, taught e'en toil to please; These round thy bowers their cheerful influence shed,

These were thy charms, but all these charms are fled.

Sweet smiling village, loveliest of the lawn, Thy sports are fled, and all thy charms withdrawn:

Amidst thy bowers the tyrant's hand is seen,
And Desolation saddens all thy green:
One only master grasps the whole domain,
And half a tillage stints thy smiling plain;
No more thy glassy brook reflects the day,
But choak'd with scdges, 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 bowers in shapeless ruin 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 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 be supplied.

A time there was, ere England's griefs began, When every rood of ground maintain❜d its man; 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, where scatter'd hamlets rose, Unwieldy wealth and cumb'rous pomp repose; And every want to luxury allied,

And every pang that folly pays to pride.

Those gentler hours that plenty bade to bloom, Those calm desires 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 power.
Here, as I take my solitary rounds,

Amidst thy tangling walks, and ruin'd grounds,
And many a year elapsed, return to view

Where once the cottage stood, the hawthorn

grew,

Remembrance wakes with all her busy train, Swells at my breast, and turns the past to pain. In all my wanderings through this world of

care,

In all my griefs—and God has giv'n 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:
I still had hopes, for pride attends us still,
Amidst the swains to shew my book-learned
skill;

Around my fire an evening group to draw,
And tell of all I felt, and all I saw :
And, as a hare when hounds and horns pursue,
Pants to the place from whence at first she 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, Retreat from cares, that never must be mine, How blest is he who crowns, in shades like these, A youth of labour with an age of ease;

Who quits a world where strong temptations try,
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,
Angels around befriending virtue's friend;
Sinks to the grave with unperceiv'd decay,
While resignation gently slopes the way;
And all his prospects bright'ning to the last,
His heaven commences ere the world be past.
Sweet was the sound, when oft, at evening's
close,

Up yonder hill the village murmur rose;
There, as I pass'd with careless steps and slow,
The mingled 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 gabbl'd o'er the pool,
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 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 foot-way tread,
But all the blooming flush of life is fled :

D

All but yon widow'd, solitary thing,

That feebly bends beside the plashy spring;
She, wretched matron, forc'd, in age, for bread,
To strip the brook with mantling cresses spread,
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 historian of the pensive plain.

Near yonder copse, where once the garden smil'd,

And still where many a garden-flower 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, his
place;

Unskilful he to fawn, or seek for power
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 relieved their pain:
The long-remember'd beggar was his guest,
Whose beard descending swept his aged breast;
The ruin'd spendthrift now no longer proud,
Claim'd kindred there, and had his claim
allow'd;

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