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3 HT




In this much admired POEM, the author paints in the ftrongest colours, the baleful effects of luxury, and overgrown wealth on ftates, kingdoms, and individuals; Heaven prevent Great Britain being ruined by them.


WEET Auburn! lovelieft village of the plain,

Where health and plenty cheer'd the labouring (wain, Where fmiling fpring its earlieft vifit paid,

And parting fummer's ling'ring blooms delay'd.
Dear lovely bow'rs of innocence and cafe!

Seats of my youth, when ev'ry fport could pleafe;
How often have I loiter'd o'er thy green,
Where humble happiness endear'd each scene;
How often have I paus'd on ev'ry charm,
The fhelter'd cot, the cultivated farm;
The never-failing brook, the bufy mill,

The decent church that topt the neigh'bring hill;
The hawthorn bush, with feats beneath the fhade,

For talking age and whifp'ring lovers made,


How often have I bleft the coming day, When toil remitting lent its turn to play, And all the village train, from labour free, Led up their fports beneath the fpreading tree ;While many a paflime circled in the fhade, The young contending as the old furvey'd ; And many a gambol frolick'd o'er the ground, And fleights of art and feats of strength went round; And flill as each repeated pleafure tir'd, Succeeding sports the mirthful band infpir'd*. The dancing pair that fimply fought renown, By holding out to tire each other down; The fwain miftruftlefs of his fmutted face, While fecret laughter titter'd round the place; The bathful virgin's fide-long looks of love, The matron's glance that would thofe looks reprove. Thefe were thy charms, fweet village! fports like thefe, With fweet fucceffion; taught ev'n toil to please ; Thefe round thy bowers their chearful influence fhed, These were thy charms-But all there charms are fled. Sweet fmiling village, lovelieft of the lawn! Thy sports are fled, and all thy charms withdrawn ; Amidst thy bowers the tyrant's hand is seen,

And defolation faddens all thy green:


Suh are the pleafing and harmless relaxations and amufements of rural life.

One only mafter grafps the whole domain,
And half a tillage flints thy filing plain;
No more thy graffy brook reflects the day,
But, choak'd with fedges, works its weedy way;
Along thy glades, a folitary gueft,

The hollow founding bittern guards its neft;
Amidft thy defert walks the lapwing flies,
And tires their echoes with unvary'd cries.
Sunk all thy bowers in fhapeless ruin all,

And the long grafs o'er-tops the mould'ring wall;
And, trembling, fhrinking from the spoiler's hand,
Far, far away thy children leave the land.


Ill fares the land, to haft'ning ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates, and men decay:
Princes and lords may flourish, or may
A breath can make them, as a breath has made*.
But a bold peafantry their country's pridet,
When once deftroy'd, can never be fupply'd.

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*The poet here happily characterifes the vanity and emptiness of all honorary titles and diftinétions among, men; what is fame but breath?

An honeft induftrious tradefnan or mechanic is more valuable to the community or nation to which he belongs, than half a dozen idle Lords or Gentlemen.

A time there was, ere England's griefs began,
When every rood of ground maintain'd its man ;
For him light labour fpread her wholesome store,
Juft gave what life requir'd, but gave no more:
His beft companions innocence and health;
And his best riches, ignorance of wealth*.

But times are alter'd; trade's unfeeling train
Ufurp the land, and difpofefs the fwain ;
Along the lawn, where fcatter'd hamlets rofe,
Unwieldy wealth, and cumb'rous pomp repose ;
And every want to luxury ally'd,

And every pain that folly pays to pride.

Thefe gentle hours that plenty bade to bloom,

Those calm defires that afk'd but little room,
Thofe healthful fports that grac'd the peaceful scene,
Liv'd in each look, and brighten'd all the green;
Thefe, far departing, feek a kinder fhore,
And rural mirth and manners are no more.

Sweet Auburn! parent of the blissful hour,
Thy glades forlorn confefs the tyrant's power.
Here, as I take my folitary rounds,

Amidst thy tangling walks, and ruin'd grounds,


* As a nation increafes in wealth it abounds in luxury; both which, as they were the ruin of ancient Rome, there is great reafon to fear will be of modern Britain alfo.

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