« PreviousContinue »
prejudicial to states by which so many vices are in-| No more thy glassy brook reflects the day, troduced, and so many kingdoms have been undone. But choked with sedges, works its weedy way: Indeed, so much has been poured out of late on the Along thy glades, a solitary guest, other side of the question, that, merely for the sake The hollow-sounding bittern guards its nest; of novelty and variety, one would sometimes wish Amidst thy desert walks the lapwing flies, to be in the right. I am, dear Sir, your sincere And tires their echoes with unvaried cries. friend, and ardent admirer,
Sunk are thy bowers in shapeless ruin all,
And, trembling, shrinking from the spoiler's hand
Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates, and men decay: DESERTED VILLAGE.
Princes and lords may flourish or may fade : Where health and plenty cheer'd the labouring When once destroy'd, can never be supplied. Sweet Aueurs! loveliest village of the plain, A breath can make them, as a breath has made ;
But a bold peasantry, their country's pride, swain, Where smiling spring its earliest visit paid, A time there was, ere England's griefs began, And parting summer's lingering blooms delay'd: When every rood of ground maintain’d its man; Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease, For him light labour spread her wholesome store, Seats of my youth, when every sport could please, Just gave what life required, but gave no more: How often have I loiter'd o'er thy green, His best companions, innocence and health, Where humble happiness endenr'd each scene! And his best riches, ignorance of wealth. How often have I paused on every charm, The shelter'd cot, the cultivated farm,
But times are alter'd; trade's unfeeling train
Usurp the land, and dispossess the swain; The never-failing brook, the busy mill, The decent church that topp'd the neighb’ring hill, Along the lawn, where scatter'd hamlets rose, The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade, And every want to luxury allied,
Unwieldy wealth, and cumbrous pomp repose ; For talking age and whispering lovers made! How often have I blest the coming day,
And every pang that folly pays to pride. When toil remitting lent its turn to play,
Those gentle hours that plenty bade to bloom,
Those calm desires that asked but little room, And all the village train from labour free,
Those healthful sports that graced the peaceful Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree;
scene, While many a pastime circled in the shade,
Lived in each look, and brighten'd all the green; The young contending as the old survey'd;
These, far daparting, seek a kinder shore, And many a gambol frolick'd o'er the ground,
And rural mirth and manners are no more. And sleights of art and feats of strength went round;
Sweet Auburn! parent of the blissful hour, And still as each repeated pleasure tired, Thy glades forlorn confess the tyrant's power. Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspired; Here, as I take my solitary rounds, The dancing pair that simply sought renown, Amilst thy tangling walks, and ruin'd grounds, By holding out to tire each other down;
And, many a year elapsed, return to view The swain mistrustless of his smutted face, Where once the cottage stood, the hawthorn grew, While secret laughter titter'd round the place; Remembrance wakes with all her busy train, The bashful virgin's sidelong looks of love, Swells at my breast, and turns the past to pain. The matron's glance that would those looks reprove. These were thy charms, sweet village! sports like
In all my wanderings round this world of care,
In all my griefsmand God has given my share these, With sweet succession, taught e'en toil to please : Amidst these humble bowers to lay me down;
I still had hopes, my latest hours to crown, These round thy bowers their cheerful influence
To husband out life's taper at the close, shed, These were thy charms but all these charms are
And keep the flame from wasting by repose : fled.
I still had hopes, for pride attends us still,
Amidst the swains to show my book-learn'd skills Sweet smiling village, loveliest of the lawn, Around my fire an evening group to draw, Thy sports are fled, and all thy charms withdrawn; And tell of all I felt, and all I saw; Amidst thy bowers the tyrant's hand is seen, And, as a hare, whom hounds and horns pursus And desolation saddens all thy green:
Pants to the place from whence at first he flew, One only master grasps the whole domain, I still had hopes, my long vexations past, And half a tillage stints thy smiling plain ; Here to return and die at home at last,
O blest retirement, friend to life's decline, The ruin'd spendthrift, now no longer proud, Retreats from care, that never must be mine, Claim'd kindred there, and had his claims allows How blest is he who crowns, in shades like these, The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay, A youth of labour with an age of ease;
Sat by his fire, and talk'd the night away; Who quits a world where strong temptations try, Wept o'er his wounds, or tales of sorrow done, And, since 'tis hard to combat, learns to fly? Shoulder'd his crutch and show'd how fields were For him no wretches, born to work and weep, Explore the mine, or tempt the dang'rous deep; Pleased with his guests, the good man learn'd to Nor surly porter stands in guilty state,
Careless their merits, or their faults to scan,
Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride,
And e’en his failings lean'd to virtue's side; Flis heaven commences ere the world be past.
But in his duty prompt at every call,
He watch'd and wept, he pray'd and felt for all;
He tried each art, reproved each dull delay,
Beside the bed where parting life was laid, The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the pool ;
And sorrow, guilt, and pain, by turns dismay'd,
The reverend champion stood. At his control, The playful children just let loose from school; The watch-dog's voice that bay'd the whispering Comfort came down the trembling wretch to raise.
Despair and anguish fled the struggling soul; wind,
And his last falt'ring accents whisper'd praise And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind; These all in sweet confusion sought the shade,
At church, with meek and unaffected grace, And fill'd each pause the nightingale had made.
His looks adorn'd the venerable place; But now the sounds of population fail,
Truth from his lips prevail'd with double sway, No cheerful murmurs fluctuate in the gale,
And fools, who came to scoff, remain'd to pray. No busy steps the grass-grown foot-way tread,
The service past, around the pious man, But all the bloomy flush of life is fled :
With steady zeal, each honest rustic ran; All but yon widow'd, solitary thing,
E'en children follow'd with endearing wile, That feebly bends beside the plashy pring;
And pluck'd his gown, to share the good man's She, wretched matron, forced in age, for bread,
smile. To strip the brook with mantling cresses spread,
His ready smile a parent's warmth express'd, To pick her wintry faggot from the thorn,
Their welfare pleased him, and theircares distress'd; To seek her nightly shed and weep till morn; To them his heart, his love, his griefs were given, She only left of all the harmless train,
But all his serious thoughts had rest in heaven. The sad historian of the pensive plai .
As some tall cliff that lifts its awful form,
Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm, Near yonder copse, where once the arden smild, And still where many a garden flower grows wild;
Though round its breast the rolling clouds are There, where a few torn shrubs the placo disclose, Eternal sunshine settles on its head.
spread, The village preacher's niodest mansion rose. A man he was to all the country dear,
Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way, And passing rich with forty pounds a-year; With blossom'd furze unprofitably gay, Remote from towns he ran his godly race, There, in his noisy mansion, skill'd to rule, Nor e'er had chang'd, nor wish'dt change his place; The village master taught his little school: Unskilful he to fawn, or seek for power,
A man severe he was, and stern to view, By doctrines fashion'd to the varying hour; I knew him well, and every truant knew; Far other aims his heart had learn’d to prize, Well had the boding tremblers learn'd to trace More bent to raise the wretched than to rise. The day's disasters in his morning face; His nouse was known to all the vagrant train, Full well they laugh'd with counterfeited gles He chid their wanderings, but relieved their pain; At all his jokes, for many a joke had he; 'The long remember'd beggar was his guest, Full well the busy whisper circling round, Whose beard descending swept his aged breast; Convey'd the dismal tidings when he frown'd:
Yet he was kind, or, if severe in aught,
In these, ere triflers half their wish obtain, The love he bore to learning was in fault; The toiling pleasure sickens into pain : The village all declared how much he knew, And e'en while fashion's brightest arts decoy. 'Twas certain he could write, and cipher too; The heart distrusting asks, if this be joy': Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage,
Ye friends to truth, ye statesmen who survey And e'en the story ran--that he could gauge:
The rich man's joys increase, the poor's decay, In arguing too, the parson own'd his skill, For e'en though vanquish'd
, he could argue still; l'Tis yours to judge, how wide the limits stand While words of learned length, and thund'ring Proud swells the tide with loads of freighted ore,
Between a splendid and a happy land. sound, Amazed the gazing rustics ranged around,
And shouting folly hails them from her shore; And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew,
Hoards e'en beyond the miser's wish abound,
And rich men flock from all the world around. That one small head could carry all he knew.
Yet count our gains. This wealth is but a name . But past is all his fame. The very spot That leaves our useful products still the same. Where many a time he triumph'd, is forgot.- Not so the loss. The man of wealth and pride Near yonder thorn, that lifts its head on high,
Takes up a space that many poor supplied; Where once the sign-post caught the passing eye, Space for his lake, his park's extended bounds, Low lies that house where nut-brown draughts Space for his horses, equipage and hounds: inspired,
The robe that wraps his limbs in silken sloth, Where gray-beard mirth, and smiling toil retired, Has robb’d the neighb’ring fields of half their Where village statesmen talk'd with looks profound, growth; And news much older than their ale went round. His seat, where solitary sports are seen, Imagination fondly stoops to trace
Indignant spurns the cottage from the green; The parlour splendours of that festive place; Around the world each needful product flies, The white-wash'd wall, the nicely sanded floor, For all the luxuries the world supplies. The varnish'd clock that click'd behind the door; While thus the land adorn'd for pleasure, all The chest contrived a double debt to pay, In barren splendour feebly waits the fall. A bed by night, a chest of drawers by day; The pictures placed for ornament and use, As some fair female, unadorn'd and plain, The twelve good rules, the royal game of goose;
Secure to please while youth confirms her reign, The hearth, except when winter chilld the day, Slights every borrow'd charm that dress supplies, With aspin boughs, and flowers and fennel gay, Nor shares with art the triumph of her eyes; While broken tea-cups, wisely kept for show,
But when those charms are past, for charmsare frail, Ranged o'er the chimney, glisten'd in a row. When time advances, and when lovers fail,
She then shines forth, solicitous to bless, Vain transitory splendours! could not all
In all the glaring impotence of dress. Reprieve the tottering mansion from its fall?
Thus fares the land, by luxury betray'd; Obscure it sinks, nor shall it more impart
In nature's simplest charms at first array'd, An hour's importance to the poor man's heart;
But verging to decline, its splendours rise, Thither no more the peasant shall repair,
Its vistas strike, its palaces surprise ; To sweet oblivion of his daily care;
While, scourged by famine from the smiling la.ro No more the farmer's news, the barber's tale,
The mournful peasant leads his humble band; No more the woodman's ballad shall prevail; And while he sinks, without one arm to save, No more the smith his dusky brow shall clear,
The country blooms—a garden, and a grave. Relax his pond'rous strength, and learn to hear; The host himself no longer shall be found Where then, ah! where shall poverty reside, Careful to see the mantling bliss go round;
To’scape the pressure of contiguous pride? Nor the coy maid, half willing to be prest,
If to some common's fenceless limits stray'd, Shall kiss the cup to pass it to the rest.
He drives his flock to pick the scanty blade,
Those fenceless fields the sons of wealth divide, Yes! let the rich deride, the proud disdain,
And e'en the bare-worn common is denied.
If to the city sped—What waits him there?
Extorted from his fellow-creature's woe.
Here, while the proud their long-drawn pomps dis- And shuddering still to face the distant deep, play,
Return’d and wept, and still return’d to weep. There the black gibbet glooms beside the way. The good old sire, the first prepared to go The dome where pleasure holds her midnight reign, To new-found worlds, and wept for others' woe; Here, richly deck'd, admits the gorgeous train;
But for himself in conscious virtue brave, Tunrultuous grandeur crowns the blazing square, He only wished for worlds beyond the grave. The rattling chariots clash, the torches glare, His lovely daughter, lovelier in her tears, Sure scenes like these no troubles e'er annoy! The fond companion of his helpless years, Sure these denote one universal joy!
Silent went next, neglectful of her charms, Are these thy serious thoughts?—Ah, turn thine And left a lover's for her father's arms. eyes
With louder plaints the mother spoke her woes, Where the poor houseless shivering female lies. And blest the cot where every pleasure rose; She once, perhaps, in village plenty blest, And kiss'd her thoughtless babes with many a tear, Has wept at tales of innocence distrest ;
And clasp'd them close, in sorrow doubly dear; Her modest looks the cottage might adorn, While her fond husband strove to lend relief Sweet as the primrose peeps beneath the thorn; In all the silent manliness of grief. Now lost to all, her friends, her virtue fled, . Near her betrayer's door she lays her head, O luxury! thou curst by Heaven's decree, And pinched with cold, and shrinking from the How ill exchanged are things like these for thee! shower,
How do thy potions with insidious joy, With heavy heart deplores that luckless hour, Diffuse their pleasures only to destroy! When idly first, ambitious of the town,
Kingdoms by thee, to sickly greatness grown, She left her wheel and robes of country brown. Boast of a florid vigour not their own;
At every draught more large and large they grow, Do thine, sweet Auburn, thine, the loveliest train, A bloated mass of rank unwieldy woe; Do thy fair tribes participate her pain?
Till sapp'd their strength, and every part unsound, E'en now, perhaps, by cold and hunger led,
Down, down they sink, and spread a ruin round. At proud men's doors they ask a little bread!
E'en now the devastation is begun, Ah, no! To distant climes, a dreary scene,
And half the business of destruction done; Where half the convex world intrudes between, E'en now, methinks, as pondering here I stand, Through torrid tracts with fainting steps they go, I see the rural virtues leave the land, Where wild Altama murmurs to their woe. Down where yon anchoring vessels spreads the sail, Far different there from all that charmed before,
That idly waiting flaps with every gale, The various terrors of that horrid shore ; Downward they move, a melancholy band, Those blazing suns that dart a downward ray Pass from the shore, and darken all the strand. And hercely shed intolerable day;
Contented toil, and hospitable care, 'Those matted woods where birds forget to sing,
And kind connubial tenderness are there; But silent bats in drowsy clusters cling;
And piety with wishes placed above, Those poisonous fields with rank luxuriance And steady loyalty, and faithful love. crown'd
And thou, sweet Poetry, thou loveliest maid, Where the dark scorpion gathers death around;
Still first to fly where sensual joys invade; Where at each step the stranger fears to wake Unfit in those degenerate times of shame, The rattling terrors of the vengeful snake; To catch the heart, or strike for honest fame; Where crouching tigers wait their hapless prey, Dear charming nymph, neglected and decried, And savage men more murderous still than they; My shame in crowds, my solitary pride. Wnile oft in whirls the mad tornado flies, Thou source of all my bliss, and all my woe, Mingling the ravaged landscape with the skies, That found'st me poor at first, and keep'st me so; Far different these from every former scene, Thou guide, by which the nobler arts excel, The cooling brook, the grassy vested green, Thou nurse of every virtue, fare thee well! The breezy covert of the warbling grove,
Farewell, and oh! where'er thy voice be tried, That only sheltered thefts of harmless love. On Torno's cliffs, or Pambamarca's side,
Whether where equinoctial fervours glow, Good Heaven! what sorrows gloomed that part. Or winter wraps the polar world in snow, ing day
Still let thy voice, prevailing over time, That call'd them from their native walks away; Redress the rigours of th’ inclement clime; When the poor exiley, every pleasure past, Aid, slighted truth, with thy persuasive strain, Hung round the bowers, and fondly look'd their last, Teach erring man to spurn the rage of gain; And took a long farewell, and wished in vain Teach him, that states of native strength possest, For sea's like these beyond the western main ; Though very poor, may still be very blest;
That trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay, My life on't, this had kept her play from sinking As ocean sweeps the labour'd mole away; Have pleased our eyes, and saved the pain o While self-dependent power can time defy,
thinking: As rocks resist the billows and the sky. Well
, since she thus has shown her want of skill, What if I give a masquerade ?—I will. But how? ay, there's the rub! (pausing)—I've go
my cue; THE GIFT.
The world's a masquerade! tho masquers, you,
you, you. TO IRIS, IN BOW-STREET, COVENT-GARDEN.
[To Boxes, Pil, and Gallery. Say, cruel Iris, pretty rake,
Lud! what a group the motley scene discloses Dear mercenary beauty,
False wits, false wives, false virgins, and falsa What annual offering shall I make
spouses! Expressive of my duty ?
Statesmen with bridles on; and close beside 'em, My heart, a victim to thine eyes,
Patriots in party-colour'd suits that ride 'em. Should I at once deliver,
There Hebes, turn'd of fifty, try once more
To raise a flame in Cupids of threescore:
These in their turn, with appetites as keen,
Deserting fifty, fasten on fifteen. A bill, a jewel, watch or toy,
Miss, not yet full fifteen, with fire uncommon; My rivals give-and let 'em;
Flings down her sampler, and takes up the woman . If gems, or gold, impart a joy,
The little urchin smiles, and spreads her lure, I'll give them—when I get 'em.
And tries to kill, ere she's got power to cure : I'll give—but not the full-blown rose,
Thus 'tis with all--their chief and constant care Or rose-bud more in fashion :
Is to seem every thing—but what they are. Such short-lived offerings but disclose
Yon broad, bold, angry spark, I fix my eye on, A transitory passion.
Who seems t'have robb’d his vizor from the lion;
Who frowns, and talks, and swears, with round I'll give thee something yet unpaid,
parade, Not less sincere, than civil:
Looking, as who should say, dam'me! who's afraid ? I'll give thee-ah! too charming maid,
(Mimicking. I'll give thee--to the devil.
Strip but this vizor off, and sure I am
Yon politician, famous in debate, : EPITAPH ON DR. PARNELL.
Perhaps, to vulgar eyes, bestrides the state; This tömb, inscribed to gentle PARNELL's name, He turns old woman, and bestrides a broom.
, when he deigns his real shape t'assume, May speak our gratitude, but not his fame, What heart but feels his sweetly moral lay,
Yon patriot, too, who presses on your sight, That leads :o truth through pleasure's flow'ry
And seems, to every gazer, all in white,
If with a bribe his candour you attack, way! Celestial thenres confess'd his tuneful aid;
He bows, turns round, and whip—the man in
black! And Heaven, that lent him genius, was repaid. Needless to him the tribute we bestow,
Yon critic, tos—but whither do I run? The transitory breath of fame below.
If I proceed, our bard will be undone ! More lasting iapture from his works shall rise,
Well then a truce, since she requests it too : While converts thank their poet in the skies. '
Do you spare her, and I'll for once spare you.
TO THE MEDY OF THE SISTERS.
SPOKEN BY MRS. BULKLEY AND MISS CATLEY.
What? five long acts-and all to make us wiser? Enter Mrs. Buikley, who courtesies very low as beginning Our authoress sure has wanted an adviser.
to speak. Then enter Miss Calley, who stands full beluke Had she consulted me, she should have made
her, and courtesies to the Audience. Her moral play a speaking masquerade; Warm'd up each bustling scene, and in her rage Hold, ma'am, your pardon. What's your busi. Have emptied all the green-room on the stage.