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A man he was to all the country dear, Beside the bed where parting life was And passing rich with forty pounds a laid, year ;
And sorrow, guilt, and pain, by turns Remote from cowns he ran his godly race, dismay'd, Nor e'er had chang'd, nor wish'd to The rev'rend chaiapion stood. At his change his place;
control, Unskilful he to fawn, or seek for power, Despair and anguish fled the struggling By doctrines fashion'd to the varying
soul ; hour ;
Comfort came down the trembling wretch Far other aims his heart had learn'd to to raise, prize,
And his last falt'ring accents whisper'd More bent to raise the wretched than to
praise. rise. His house was known to all the vagrant At church, with meek and unaffected train,
grace, He chid their wand'rings, but relieved His looks adorn'd the venerable place; their pain ;
Truth from his lips prevail'd with double The long remember'd eggar was his
And fools, who came to scoff, remained Whose beard descending swept his aged
to pray. breast;
The service past, around the pious man, The ruin'd spendthrift, now no longer With ready zeal, each honest rustic ran; proud,
Even children follow'd, with endearing Claim'd kindred there, and had his claims wile, allow'd ;
And pluck'd his gown, to share the good The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay, man's smile. Sat by his fire, and talk'd the night away; His ready smile a parent's warmth ex. Wept o'er his wounds, or, tales of sorrow prest, done,
Their welfare pleased him, and their cares Shoulder'd his crutch, and show'd how
distrest; fields were won.
To them his heart, his love, his griefs Pleased with his guests, the good man were given, learn'd to glow,
But all his serious thoughts had rest in And quite forgot their vices in their woe;
heaven. Careless their merits or their faults to As some tall cliff that lifts its awful form. scan,
Swells from the vale, and midway leaves His pity gave ere charity began.
Though round its breast the rolling clouds Thus to relieve the wretched was his are spread, pride,
Eternal sunshine settles on its head. And even his failings lean'd to virtue's
side ; But in his duty prompt at every call, THE VILLAGE SCHOOLMASTER He watch'd and wept, he pray'd and felt
AND THE VILLAGE INN. for all ; And, as a bird each fond endearment BESIDE yon straggling fence that skirts
tries, To tempt its new-fledged offspring to the With blossom'd furze unprofitably gay, skies;
There, in his noisy mansion, skill'd ta He tried each art, reproved each dull rule, delay,
The village master taught his little school; Allured to brighter worlds, and led the A man severe he was, and stern to view, way.
I knew him well, and every truant knew
Well had the boding tremblers learn'd to The chest contrived a double debt to pay, trace,
A bed by night, a chest of drawers by The day's disasters in his morning face ; day; Full well they laugh'd with counterfeited The pictures placed for ornament and use, glee
The twelve good rules, the royal game of At all his jokes, for many a joke had he ; goose; Full well the busy whisper circling round, The hearth, except when winter chill'd Convey'd the dismal tidings when he
the day, frown'd;
With aspin boughs and flowers and fennel Yet he was kind, or if severe in ought, gay, The love he bore to learning was in fault; While broken tea-cups, wisely kept for The village all declared how much he show, knew ;
Ranged o'er the chimney, glisten'd in a 'Twas certain he could write, and cypher
too ; Lands he could measure, terms and tides Vain transitory splendour! could not presage,
[fall : And even the story ran that he could Reprieve the tott'ring mansion from its gauge :
Obscure it sinks, nor shall it more impart In arguing too, the parson own'd his skill, An hour's importance to the poor man's For even though vanquish’d, he could heart.
argue still ; While words of learned length, and
THE EXILES. thund'ring sound, Amazed the gazing rustics ranged around, WHERE, then, ah! where shall poverty And still they gazed, and still the wonder reside, grew,
To 'scape the pressure of contiguous That one small head could carry all he pride? knew.
If to some common's fenceless limits
stray'd, But past is all his fame. The very He drives his flock to pick the scanty spot
blade, Where many a time he triumph'd, is Those fenceless fields the sons of wealth forgot.
divide, Near yonder thorn, that lifts its head on And even the bare-worn common is high,
denied. Where once the sign-post caught the passing eye,
If to the city sped, what waits hin Low lies that house where nut-brown there? draughts inspired,
To see profusion that he must not share ; Where grey-beard mirth and smiling toll To see ten thousand baneful arts com. retired,
bined Where village statesmen talk'd with looks To pamper luxury, and thin mankind; profound,
To see each joy the sons of pleasure know, And news much older than their ale went Extorted from his fellow-creatures' woe. round.
Here, while the courtier glitters in bro. Imagination fondly stoops to trace
cade, The parlour splendours of that festive There the pale artist plies the sickly place;
trade; The white-wash'd wall, the nicely sanded Here while the proud their long-drawn floor,
pomps display, The varnish'd clock that click'd behind There the black gibbet glooms beside the the door;
The dome where pleasure holds her mid- Those blazing suns that dart a downward night reign,
ray, Here, richly deck'd, admits the gorgeous And fiercely shed intolerable day; train;
Those matted woods where birds forget Tumultuous grandeur crowds the blazing *o sing, square,
But silent bats in drowsy clusters cling; The rattling chariots clash, the torches Those poisonous fields with rank luxu. glare.
riance crown'd, Sure scenes like these no troubles e'er Where the dark scorpion gathers death
annoy! Sure these denote one universal joy! Where at each step the stranger fears to Are these thy serious thoughts ? ah, turn wake
The rattling terrors of the vengeful snake; Where the poor houseless shivering female Where crouching tigers wait their hapless lies.
prey, She once, perhaps, in village plenty And savage men more murderous still bless'd,
than they ; Has wept at tales of innocence distress'd; While oft in whirls the mad tomado flies, Her modest looks the cottage might adorn, Ming'ling the ravaged landscape with the Sweet as the primrose peeps beneath the skies. thorn.
Far different these from every former Now lost to all, her friends, her virtue scene, fled,
The cooling brook, the grassy-vested Near her betrayer's door she lays her green ; head,
The breezy covert of the warbling grove, And, pinch'd with cold, and shrinking That only shelter'd thefts of harmless from the shower
love. With heavy heart deplores that luckless hour,
Good Heaven ! what sorrows gloom'd When, idly first, ambitious of the town, that parting day, She left her wheel, and robes of country That called them from their native walks brown.
When the poor exiles, every pleasure past. Do thine, sweet Auburn, thine, the Hung round the bowers, and fondly
look'd their last, loveliest train, Do thy fair tribes participate her pain ?
And took a long farewell, and wish'd in
vain Even now, perhaps, by cold and hunger for seats like these beyond the western led,
main ; At proud men's doors they ask a little And shuddering still to face the distant bread!
Return'd and wept, and still retum'd tc Ah, no. To distant climes, a dreary scene,
The good old sire, the first, prepared to Where half the convex world intrudes between,
To new-found worlds, and wept for Through torrid tracts with fainting steps
others' woe : they go
But for himself, in conscious virtue brave, Where wild Altama murmurs to their He only wish'd for worlds neyond the woe.
grave. Far different there from all that charm'd His lovely daughter, lovelier in her tears, before,
The fond companion of his helpless The various terrors of that horrid shore ; years,
Silent went next, neglectful of her charms, Dear charming nymph, neglected and And left a lover's for a father's arms.
decried, With louder plaints the mother spoke her My shame in crowds, my solitary pride ; woes,
Thou source of all my bliss, and all my And bless'd the cot where every pleasure
wo, rose ;
Thou found'st me poor at first, and And kiss'd her thoughtless babes with keep'st me so : many a tear,
Thou guide by which the nobler arts And clasp'd them close, in sorrow doubly excel, dear;
Thou nurse of every virtue, fare thee well. Whilst her fond husband strove to lend
relief In all the silent manliness of grief.
THE TRAVELLER. O luxury; thou cursed by Heaven's decree,
REMOTE, unfriended, melancholy, slow, How ill exchanged are things like these Or by the lazy Scheld, or wandering Po; for thee!
Or onward, where the rude Carinthian How do thy potions, with insidious joy, boor Diffuse their pleasures only to destroy! Against the houseless stranger shuts the Kingdoms by thee, to sickly greatness grown,
Or where Campania's plain forsaken lies, Boast of a florid vigour not their own; A weary waste expanding to the skies : At every draught more large and large Where'er I roam, whatever realms to see, they grow,
My heart, untravell’d, fondly turns to A bloated mass of rank unwieldy wo; thee :
(pain, Till sapp'd their strength, and every part Still to my brother turns, with ceaseless unsound,
And drags at each remove a lengthening Down, down they sink, and spread a ruin chain. round.
Eternal blessings crown my earliest Even now the devastation is begun, friend, And half the business of destruction done; And round his dwelling guardian saints Even now, methinks, as pondering here I attend ; stand,
Bless'd be that spot, where cheerful guests I see the rural Virtues leave the land.
retire Down where yon anchoring vessel spreads To pause from toil, and trim their evening the sail,
fire : That idly waiting flaps with every gale, Bless'd that abode, where want and pain Downward they move, a melancholy repair, band,
And every stranger finds a ready chair ; Pass from the shore, and darken all the Bless'd be those feasts with simple plenty strand.
crown'd, Contented Toil, and hospitable Care, Where all the ruddy family around And kind connubial Tenderness, are Laugh at the jests or pranks that never there :
fail, And Piety with wishes placed above, Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale; And steady Loyalty and faithful Love. Or press the bashful stranger to his food, And thou, sweet Poetry, thou loveliest And learn the luxury of doing good.
maid, Still first to fly where sensual joys invade; But me, not destined such delights to Unfit in these degenerate times of shame,
share, To catch the heart, or strike for honest My prime of life in wandering spent and fame;