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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 brightning to the last,
His heav'n commences ere the world be past !
Sweet was the sound, when oft, at ev'ning's close,
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 majd 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 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 footway tread,
But all the bloomy flush of life is filed :
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 fagot 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 flow'r grows wild, There where a few torn 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 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 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 claims allow'&:
The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay,
Sat by his fire, and talk'd the night away ;
Wept o'er his wounds, or tales of sorrow done,
Shoulder'd his crutch, and show'd how fields were won.
Pleas’d with his guests, the good man learn'd to glow,
And quite forgot their vices in their wo;
Careless their merits or their faults to scan,
His pity gave ere charity began.
Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride,
And e’en bis 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 eacă 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 control
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 man,
With ready zeal each honest rustic ran;
E'en 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 cares distress’d:
To them his heart, his love, his griefs were giv'a;
But all his serious thoughts had rest in heav'n :
As some tall cliff that lifts its awful form,
Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm,
Tho'round its breast the rolling clouds are spread,
Eternal sunshine settles on its head.
Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way,
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 yiew ;
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 round
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 cipher too ;
Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage ;
And e'en the story ran that he could guage.
In arguing too the parson own'd his skill,
For e'en tho' vanquish'd, he could argue still ;
While words of learned length, and thund'ring sound,
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:
The deserted Village, continued. NEA.
R yonder thorn that lifts its head on high, Where c.
ince the siyn-post caught the passing eye, Low lies that house where nut-brown draughts inspir’d, Where gray-beard mirth and smiling toil retird, Where village statesmen talk'd with looks profound, And news much older than their ale went round.
Imagination fondly stoops to trace
The parlour splendours of that festive place ;
The white-wash'd wall; nicely sanded floor,
The varnish'd clock that click'd behind the door ,
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 goose ;
The hearth, except when winter chilld the day,
With aspen boughs, and flow'rs, and fennel gay ;
While broken tea-cups, wisely kept for show,
Rang'd o'er the chimney, glisten in a row.
Vain transitory splendour! could not all
Retrieve the tott’ring mansion from its fall ?
Obscure it sinks, nor shall it more impart
An 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 bimself no longer shall be found
Careful to see the mantling bliss go
round. Yes ! let the rich deride, the proud disdain, : These simple pleasures 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 sway: 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 sickens into pain ; And e'en while fashion's brightest arts decoy, The heart distrusting asks, if this be joy ?
Ye friends to truth, ye statesmen who survey The rich man's joys increase, the poor's decay,
urs to judge how wide the limits stand, Between a splendid and a happy land. Proud swells the tide with loads of freighted ore, And shouting folly hails them from her shore ;
If to the city sped-what waits him there?
Hoards, e'en 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 man of wealth and pride
up a space
many poor supplied ;
Space for his lake, bis park's extended bounds,
Space for his horses, equipage, and hounds;
The robe that wraps his limbs in silken sloth
Has robb'd the neighb'ring fields of half their growth;
His seat, where solitary sports are seen,.,.'-
Indigoant spurns the cottage from the green.
Around the world each needful product flies,
For all the laxuries 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 the 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 shipes forth, solicitous to bless,
In all the glaring impotence of dress :
Thus fares the land, by luxury betray'd,
la 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 land, -
The mournful peasant leads his humble band ;
And wbile he sinks, without one 'arm to save,
The country blooms-a garden and a grave!:
Where then, ah where, shall poverty reside,
To 'scape the pressure of contiguous pride ?
If, to some common's fenceless limits stray'd,
He drives his flock to pick the scanty blade,
Those fenceless fields the sons of wealth divide,
And e'en the bare-worn common is denied.
To see profusion that he must not share
To see ten thousand baneful arts combin'd
To pamper luxury, and thin mankind;
To see each joy the sons of pleasure know,
Extorted from his fellow creature's wo.