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Where pomp, disease, and knavery reside,
And folly bends the knee to wealthy pride;
Where luxury's purveyors learn to rise,
And worth, to want a prey, unfriended dies ;
Where warbling eunuchs glitter in brocade,
And hapless poets toil for scauty bread:
Farewell! to other scenes I turn my eyes,
Embosom'd in the vale where Auburn lies,
Deserted Auburn, those now ruined glades,
Forlorn, yet ever dear and honoured shades.
There though the hamlet boasts no smiling train,
Nor sportful pastime cireling on the plain;
No needy villains prowl around for prey,
No slanderers, no sycophants betray;
No gaudy foplings scornfully deride
The swain, whose humble pipe is all his pride.
There will I fly to seek that soft repose,
Which solitude contemplative bestows:
Yet, oh fond hope! perchance there still remains.
One lingering friend behind, to bless the plaius;
Some hermit of the dale, enshrined in ease,
Long lost companion of my youthful days;
With whose sweet converse in his social bower,
I oft may chide away some vacant hour;
To whose pure sympathy, I may impart
Each latent grief that labours at my heart,
Whate'er I felt, and what I saw, relate,
The shoals of luxury, the wrecks of state;
Those busy scenes, where science wakes in vain,
In which I shared, ah! ne'er to share again.
But whence that pang? does nature now rebel?
Why falters out my tongue the word farewell ?
Ye friends! who long have witnessed to my toil,
And seen me ploughing in a thankless soil;
Whose partial tenderness hushed every pain,
Whose approbation made my bosom yain:
'Tis you to whom my soul divided hies
With fond regret, and half unwilling flies;
Sighs forth her parting wishes to the wind,
And lingering leaves her better half behind.
Can I forget the intercourse I shared,
What friendship cherished, and what zeal endeared
Alas! remembrance still must turn to you,
And to my latest hour, protract the long adieu.
Amid the woodlands, wheresoe'er I rove,
The plain, or secret covert of the grove,
Imagination shall supply her store
Of painful bliss, and what she can restore;
Shall strew each lonely path with flow'rets gay,
And wide as is her boundless empire stray;
On eagle picions traverse earth and skies,
And bid the lost and distant objects rise.
Here, where encircled o'er the sloping land
Woods rise on woods, shall Aristotle stand;
Lyceum round the godlike man rejoice,
And bow with reverence to wisdom's voice.
There, spreading oaks shall arch the vaulted dome,
The champion, there, of liberty and Rome,
In Attic eloquence shall thunder laws,
And uncorrupted senates shout applause.
Not more ecstatic visions rapt the soul
Of Numa, when to midnight grots he stole,
And learnt his lore, from virtue's mouth refin'd,
To fetter vice, and harmonize mankind.
Now stretch'd at e-se beside some favourite stream,
Of beauty and enchantment will I dream;
Elysium, feats of art, and laurels won,
The Graces three, and · Japhet's fabled son:
Whilst Angelo shall wave the mystic rod,
And see a new creation wait his nod,
Prescribe his bounds to time's remorseless power,
And, to my arms, my absent friends restore,
Place me amidst the group, each well-known face,
The sons of science, lords of human race;
And as oblivion sinks at his command,
Nature shall rise more fipish'd from his hand.
Thus some magician, fraught with potent skill,
Transforms and moulds each varied mass at will;
Calls animated forms of wondrous birth,
Cadmean offspring, from the teeming earth ;
Uncears the ponderous tombs, the realms of night,
And calls their cold inhabitants to light;
Or, as he traverses a dreary scene,
Bids every sweet of nature there convene,
Huge mountains skirted round with wavy woods,
The shrub-deck'd lawns, and silver sprinkled floods,
Whilst flow'rets spring around the smiling land,
And follow on the traces of his wand.
Such prospects, lovely Auburn! then, be thine ;
And what thou canst of bliss impart be mine;
Amid thy humble shades, in tranquil ease,
Grant me to pass the remnant of my days,
Unfettered from the toil of wretched gain,
My raptur'd muse shall pour her noblest strain,
Within her native bowers the notes prolong,
Aud, grateful, meditate her latest song.
Thus, as adown the slope of life I bend,
And inove, resign'd, to meet my latter end,
Each worldly wish, each worldly care represt,
A self-approving heart alone possest,
Content, to bounteous Heaven I'll leave the rest.'
Thus spoke the bard: but not one friendly power
With nod assentive crowned the parting hour;
No eastern meteor glared beneath the sky,
No dextral omen; nature heaved a sigh
Prophetic of the dire impending blow,
The presage of her loss, and Britain's woe.
Already portioned, unrelenting fate
Had made a pause upon the number'd date;
Behind stood Death, too horrible for sight,
In darkness clad, expectant, prun'd for flight;
Pleas'd at the word, the shapeless monster sped,
On eager message to the humble shed,
Where, wrapt by soft poetic visions round,
Sweet slumbering, fancy's darling son he found.
At his approach the silken pinion'd train
Affrighted, mount aloft, and quit the brain,
Which late they fana'd: now other scenes than
Of woody pride, succeed, or flow'ry vales:
As when a sudden tempest veils the sky,
Before serene, and streaming lightnings Aly;
The prospect shifts, and pitchy volumes roll,
Along the drear expanse, from pole to pole;
Terrific horrors all the void invest,
Whilst the archspectre issues forth confest.
The bard beholds him beckon to the tomb
Of yawning night, eternity's dread womb;
Io vain attempts to Ay, the impassive air
Retards his steps, and yields him to despair ;
He feels a gripe that thrills through every vein,
And panting struggles in the fatal chain.
Here paus'd the fell destroyer to survey
The pride, the boast of man, his destined prey;
Prepared to strike, he poised aloft the dart,
And plunged the steel in virtue's bleeding heart;
Abhorrent, back the springs of life rebound,
And leave on nature's face a grisly wound.
A wound enrolled among Britannia's woes,
That ages yet to follow cannot close.
Oh, Goldsmith ! how shall sorrow now essay
To murmur out her slow incondite lay?
In what sad accents mourn the luckless hour,
That yielded thee to unrelenting power;
Thee, the proud boast of all the tuneful train
That sweep the lyre, or swell the polished strain ?
Much honoured bard ! if my untutored verse
Could pay a tribute worthy of thy hearse,
With fearless hands I'd build the fane of praise,
And boldly strew the never fading bays.
But, ah! with thee my guardian genius filed,
And pillowed in thy tomb his silent head:
Pain'd memory alone behind remains,
And pensive stalks the solitary plains.
Rich in her sorrows, honours without art,
iu tears, redundant from the heart. And
say, what boots it o'er thy hallow'd dust To heap the graven pile, or laureld bust;