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Through torrid tracts with fainting steps they go,
360 The breezy covert of the warbling grove, That only shelter'd thefts of harmless love.
Good Heaven! what sorrows gloom'd that parting day That call’d them from their native walks away; When the poor exiles, every pleasure past,
365 Hung round their bowers, and fondly look'd their last, And took a long farewell, and wish'd in vain For seats like these beyond the western main ; And, shuddering still to face the distant deep, Return'd and wept, and still return'd to weep! 370 The good old sire, the first prepared to go To new-found worlds, and wept for others' woe; But for himself, in conscious virtue brave, He only wish'd for worlds beyond the grave: His lovely daughter, lovelier in her tears,
375 The fond companion of his helpless years, Silent went next, neglectful of her charms, And left a lover's for a father's arms : With louder plaints the mother spoke her woes,
1 The Altama (or Altamaha) is a river in the province of Georgia, United States.-B.
2 The jaguar is the American tiger.—Noah WEBSTER.
And blest the cot where every pleasure rose ;
0, luxury! thou curst by Heaven's decree,
385 How ill exchanged are things like these for thee! How do thy potions, with insidious joy, Diffuse their pleasures only to destroy! Kingdoms by thee, to sickly greatness grown, Boast of a florid vigour not their own :
390 At every draught more large and large they grow, A bloated mass of rank unwieldy woe; Till, sapp'd their strength, and every part unsound, Down, dowņ they sink, and spread a ruin round. E'en now the devastation is begun,
395 And half the business of destruction done; E’en now, methinks, as pond'ring here I stand, I see the rural virtues leave the land. Down where yon anchoring vessel spreads the sail, That idly waiting flaps with every gale,
400 Downward they move, a melancholy band, Pass from the shore, and darken all the strand : Contented toil, and hospitable care, And kind connubial tenderness are there; And piety, with wishes placed above,
405 And steady loyalty, and faithful love. And thou, sweet Poetry, thou loveliest maid, Still first to fly where sensual joys invade ; Unfit, in these degenerate times of shame, To catch the heart, or strike for honest fame; 410 Dear, charming nymph, neglected and decried, My shame in crowds, my solitary pride; Thou source of all my bliss, and all my woe, That found'st me poor at first, and keep'st me so ; Thou guide by which the nobler arts excel,
415 Thou nurse of every virtue, fare thee well!
1 Var.-In all the decent manliness, &c.—Editions one, two, and three.
Farewell ; and O! where'er thy voice be tried,
of gain ; Teach him, that states of native strength possess’d, 425
Though very poor, may still be very blessed; * That trade’s proud empire hastes to swift decay, * As ocean sweeps the labour'd mole away; * While self-dependent power can time defy, * As rocks resist the billows and the sky.
1 Tornea, Gulf of Bothnia, Sweden. Pambamarca is said to be a mountain near Quito, South America.-ED.
2 The four lines marked with an asterisk were written by Dr. Johnson, according to Boswell; vide · Life of Johnson,' Bohn's edition, vol. ii., p. 309 :—" At the same time Dr. Johnson favoured me by marking the lines which he furnished to Goldsmith's · Deserted Village,' which are only the last four.” But, as we have said at p. 19, there was no evidence of this fact till Boswell wrote ; and, what is perhaps stranger still, even after Boswell had written, Percy, the friend and literary executor of Goldsmith, in his edition of the Works' (1801) makes no mention of Johnson's contribution of these lines. Evans's first collected edition of the Poems and Plays (1780-86) is likewise without any indication of these contributions. See also Appendix to the Poems, p. 141.-ED.
THE HAUNCH OF VENISON;
A POETICAL EPISTLE
[Written about 1771, but not published until 1776, two years after the poet's death. A second edition also appeared in 1776, having “additions and corrections taken from the author's last transcript.” Our text is mainly that of the second edition ; but as some of the “ corrected” lines of that edition have been thought to be inferior to the corresponding lines in the first edition, we add the latter as variations.—ED.]
THANKS, my lord, for your venison, for finer or fatter
5 To spoil such a delicate picture by eating :2 I had thoughts, in my chambers to place
it in view, To be shown to my friends as a piece of virtù ; As in some Irish houses, where things are so so, One gammon of bacon hangs up for a show; But for eating a rasher of what they take pride in, They'd as soon think of eating the pan it is fried in. But hold—let me pause-don't I hear you pronounce, This tale of the bacon a damnable bounce ? suppose it a bounce—sure a poet may try,
15 By a bounce now and then, to get courage to fly.
But, my lord, it's no bounce: I protest, in my turn, It's a truth—and your lordship may ask Mr. Burn.3
1 Var.—The white was so white, and the red was so ruddy.–First edition.
2 This couplet is one of the additions to the second edition. ED. 3 Mr. Byrne, Lord Clare's nephew.-ED.
To go on with
: as I gazed on the haunch,
35 acquaintance-a friend, as he call'd himself-enter'd ; An under-bred, fine spoken fellow was he, And he smiled as he look'd at the venison and me,
1 The full word “ Monroe's” is in the first, and in editions after the second. Dorothy Monroe was a beauty celebrated in Lord Townshend's verse.—ED.
? The full names, “ Coley, and Williams, and Howard, and Hiff,” are in the first edition. “ Hiff” stands for Paul Hiffernan, M.D., a turbulent Irishman of the Grub Street class of authors. He was associated with Burke in that celebrity's youthful squabbles with the theatrical managers of Dublin ; and, later, was a hack writer, and half friend, half pensioner of Goldsmith in London. The others alluded to are now unknown, though probably they were characters of the same genus as “Hiff-". Mr. Bolton Corney queries whether Howard is the author of the “ Choice Spirits' Museum” (1765), and whether “H—rth” is Hogarth, the surgeon of Golden Square.-ED.
3 This couplet first appeared in the second edition. The full name Higgins” appeared later. It is in the 1777 edition, and Percy also gives it, though without telling us who Higgins was. Mr. B. Corney thinks he may have been Captain Higgins, the officious military “friend who helped Goldsmith to, rather than in, his quarrel with Evans the bookseller ; see our · Life' of the poet, p. 33, vol. i.-ED. 4 Var.-Such dainties to them! It would look like a flirt, Like sending 'em ruffles, when wanting a shirt.
First edition. 5 Var.-A fine spoken Custom-house officer he, Who smild as he gazd on the ven’son and me.