Слике страница
PDF
ePub

The wealth of climes, where savage nations roam,
Pillag'd from slaves to purchase slaves at home;
Fear, pity, justice, indignation start,
Tear off reserve, and bare my swelling heart;
Till half a patriot, half a coward grown,
I fly from petty tyrants to the throne.

Yes, brother, curse with me that baleful hour,
When first ambition struck at regal power;
And thus polluting honour in its source,
Gave wealth to sway the mind with double force.
Have we not seen, round Britain's peopled shore,
Her useful sons exchang'd for useless ore?
Seen all her triumphs but destruction haste,
Like flaring tapers bright'ning as they waste;
Seen opulence, her grandeur to maintain,
Lead stern depopulation in her train,
And over fields where scatter'd hamlets rose,
In barren solitary pomp repose ?
Have we not seen, at pleasure's lordly call,
The smiling long-frequented village fall?
Beheld the duteous son, the sire decay'd,
The modest matron, and the blushing maid,
Forc'd from their homes, a melancholy train,
To traverse climes beyond the western main;
Where wild Oswego spreads her swamps around,
And Niagara stuns with thund'ring sound?

Even now, perhaps, as there some pilgrim strays Through tangled forests, and through dangerous

ways;

Where beasts with man divided empire claim,
And the brown Indian marks with murd'rous aim;
There, while above the giddy tempest flies,
And all around distressful yells arise,
The pensive exile, bending with his woe,
To stop too fearful, and too faint to go,
Casts a long look where England's glories shine,
And bids his bosom sympathize with mine.

Vain, very vain, my weary search to find
That bliss which only centres in the mind :
Why have I stray'd, from pleasure and repose,
To seek a good each government bestows?
In every government, though terrors reign,
Though tyrant kings, or tyrant laws restrain,
How small of all that human hearts endure,
That part which laws or kings can cause or cure.
Still to ourselves in every place consign'd,
Our own felicity we make or find :
With secret course, which no loud storms annoy,
Glides the smooth current of domestic joy..
The lifted ax, the agonizing wheel,
Luke's iron crown, and Damien's bed of steel,
To men remote from power but rarely known,
Leave reason, faith, and conscience, all our own.

THE DESERTED VILLAGE.

Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain, Where health and plenty cheer'd the labouring

swain, Where smiling spring its earliest visit paid, And parting summer's ling'ring blooms delay'd. Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease, Seats of my youth, when every 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 every 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 seats beneath the shade, For talking age and whisp'ring lovers made! 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 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 ev'n 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, chok'd with sedges, 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 shy 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,
A breath can make them, as a breath has made;

or may

fade;

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 gentle 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 elaps'd, 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 wand'rings round this world of care, In all my griefs--and God has giv'n my share

« ПретходнаНастави »