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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 sidelong looks of love,
Thematron'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,

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

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 Thy sports are fled, and all thy charms withdrawn; Amidst thy bowers the tyrant's hand is seen, And desolation saddens all thy green: One only master grasps the whole domain, And half a tillage stints thy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;

,1 The hollow] There is no sound so dismally hollow as the booming of the bittern.' Gold. An. Nat. vi. p. 2.

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 mouldering wall;
And, trembling, shrinking from the spoiler's hand,
Far, far away thy children leave the land. ·

Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, '? Where wealth accumulates, and men decay: : 8 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:

2 Where) • Wealth in all commercial states is found to accumulate; the very laws may contribute to the accumula. tion of wealth, as when the natural ties that bind the rich and poor together are broken,' &c. - Vic. of Wakefield, p. 102.

3 Princes] • Vespasianus bene intelligit cæteros quidem amicos suos niti iis quæ ab ipso acceperint, quæque ipsi accumulare, et in alios congerere promtum est: Marcellum autem et Crispum attulisse ad amicitiam suam quod non a Principe acceperint, nec accipi possit.'

De Caus. Cor. Eloq. o. viii.
• A kynge may spille, a kynge may save,
A kynge may make a lorde a knave;
And of a knave a lorde also.”

Gower's Conf. Amantis, fol. 152.

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 cumbrous pomp repose; And every want to opulence 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 wanderings round this world of care, In all my griefs — and God has given my share —

4 Calm desires] •Gentle thoughts and calm desires !'

Carew's Poems, p. 22.

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 bopes — for pride attends us still —
Amidst the swains to show my book-learn'd skill,
Around my fire an evening group to draw,
And tell of all I felt, and all I saw; .
And, as a hare, whom 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 care, 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, 6 And, since 'tis hard to combat, learns to fly! For him no wretches, born to work and weep, Explore the mine, or tempt the dangerous 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; Bends to the grave with unperceiv'd decay, While Resignation gently slopes the way;

5. By struggling with misfortunes, we are sure to receive some wound in the conflict: the only method to come off vic. torious is by running away.' The Bee, p. 56.

And, all his prospects brightening to the last, His heaven commences ere the world be rast.

Sweet was the sound, when oft at evening's close Up yonder bill the village murmur rose; There, as I past with careless steps and slow, The mingling notes came soften’d from below; The swain responsive as the milkmaid 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 whispering

wind, . And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind.

These all in sweet confusion sought the shade,
6 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.

6 And filled] The nightingale's pausing song would be the. proper epithet for this bird's music.' - An. Nat. i. p. 329.

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